CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas confirmed 3 more cases of the novel coronavirus in Cebu on Wednesday, April 1, bringing the total cases in the region to 33.
"After two successive days of testing, we have 3 new cases. So we've increased our number from 30 to 33 COVID-19 cases," said Jaime Bernadas, regional director of DOH-7.
Among the newly-confirmed coronavirus cases is a 31-year-old male from Mandaue City and a 57-year-old male from Talamban, Cebu City. The third is a 54-year-old male from Consolacion town in northern Cebu.
Bernadas said that based on the lab results, the virus has "not spread far into the province." He observed that the cities and municipalties with positive COVID-19 cases are part of Metro Cebu.
But these projections by DOH-7 are based on an extremely small sample size.
To put this into perspective, the 3 positive cases were part of 60 tests run in a single day on Tuesday, March 31. The lab at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center has been running an average of 25 to 60 tests a day since it began testing locally on March 20.
In Cebu, there are a total of 8,996 persons under monitoring (PUMs) for the coronavirus across the province, majority of whom have not been tested.
Across the region, there are 17,000 PUMs and 1,417 patients under investigation or PUIs. At least 145 of the PUIs are in Cebu.
The regional health department stopped using the term PUI in their local bulletins to describe those who may have had exposure to the virus and are exhibiting symptoms. Instead, they break down suspected cases further between those who have "influenza-like illnesses" (ILIs) and those with "severe acute respiratory illnesses" (SARI).
The total population of the Central Visayas is about 7 million spread across the islands of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.
The active cases in the region are in the following cities:
Bernadas said the DOH has already begun contact tracing for the confirmed cases.
Central Visayas has so far recorded two deaths in Negros Oriental and 3 recoveries in Cebu City (2 cases) and Bohol (1 case).