Cagayan De Oro City

Cagayan de Oro’s new COVID-19 cases breach city record on Day 1 of MECQ

Bobby Lagsa
Cagayan de Oro’s new COVID-19 cases breach city record on Day 1 of MECQ

CHECKPOINT. A policeman asks the owner of a vehicle if he is a resident of Cagayan de Oro at a checkpoint in Opol town, Misamis Oriental, on June 2, 2021, aday after the city was placed under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) following a spike in COVID-19 cases that threatened its hospital system.

Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

City epidemiologist Dr. Teodulfo Joselito Retuya Jr. says new COVID-19 cases reached 158, further alarming local officials who have seen the city's hospitals and isolation facilities running out of space in the past few weeks


New COVID-19 cases in Cagayan de Oro registered the highest so far in the city on Tuesday, June 1, the first of the 15-day modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

City epidemiologist Dr. Teodulfo Joselito Retuya Jr. said the number of new COVID-19 cases reached 158, further alarming local officials who have seen the city’s hospitals and isolation facilities running out of space in the past few weeks.

Duterte on Monday, May 31, placed Cagayan de Oro, as well as two other cities and four provinces in Mindanao, under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases that stretched the capacity of local hospitals.

Mayor Oscar Moreno, who had asked the government’s coronavirus task force for the less strict general community quarantine, said,  “I don’t want this (MECQ), but I won’t object to this.”

Moreno said the interior department informed him that he could object to the MECQ classification, but he chose not to because “our cases are rising and our CCUR (critical care utilization rate) is in a very delicate situation.”

“I hope that people are getting the message very clearly,” he said.

He said the city’s COVID-19 cases steadily increased since the second week of April until the city’s CCUR reached nearly 100%. This means that hospitals across the city, and city hall’s quarantine and temporary treatment facilities are full.

Moreno said the utilization rates of the city’s intensive care units reached 82.93%; isolation beds, 55.46%; and mechanical ventilators, 70.37%.

“Our CCUR is still heavily burdened,” he said.

The City Health Office doubled up its efforts to immediately fetch and bring the newly infected to city hall’s isolation facilities to prevent them from further spreading the deadly virus.

“We must extract them immediately while the profiling and contact tracing are ongoing…(because) the chances of infection are very high in their homes. The extraction cannot wait,” Moreno said.

Retuya said the city’s transmission rate inside residences was high because many insisted on home quarantine.

Local health officials also said the COVID-19 vaccination rollout would continue as planned despite Cagayan de Oro’s stricter quarantine status.

Dr. Lorraine Nery, city health officer, said the instruction she received was for the inoculations to go “full blast.” – Rappler.com