At least 50 test positive for coronavirus in Cebu drug rehab center

Ryan Macasero
Cebu City breaches the 8,000- mark for COVID-19 cases, but experts say the infection rate in this hotspot is slowing down

At least 50 persons tested positive for the coronavirus at the Department of Health Treatment Rehab Center (DOH-TRC), the facility for drug patients in Cebu province, a health department spokesperson confirmed on Monday, July 20.

“Facilities like these are really prone to infection,” Dr Mary Jean Loreche, DOH- Central Visayas spokesperson, said in a press conference with local reporters.

She said that patients are currently isolated and being treated. It was not mentioned, however, how and from whom the flare up of the coronavirus infection began at the facility located in Argao town.

As of Sunday, July 19, Cebu province has at least 2,527 confirmed COVID-19 patients where 1,645 of them are active cases.

Cebu City Jail recoveries

On Friday, July 17, the Cebu City Jail reported over 400 recoveries and no new cases in a month.

In April, the over-congested facility had the highest number of cases among all BJMP facilities in the country. The last case in the city jail was recorded on June 12. (READ: What you need to know about the Cebu City Jail)

Jail warden Julius Aro said the recoveries were due to early detection, isolation, and treatment of the inmates.

“We had almost 400 cases of COVID here in the Cebu City Jail,” Aro said in a press statement in Cebuano and English. “So after a period of about 21 days, DOH declared them clinically recovered.”

Cebu City breaches 8,000 cases

As of Sunday evening, Cebu City had a total of 8,072 confirmed cases, of which 3,241 are active. The city reported 86 new cases and 54 new recoveries.

Total recoveries are now at 4,420. There have been 411 deaths.

According to the July 15 study by the OCTA research group, comprised of researchers from the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas, the reproduction rate (RO) improved in Cebu City between June 15 and June 30, when the city was placed under lockdown.

From a reproduction rate of 2, it is now down to 1.14. The researchers attribute this to the lockdown measures.

Loreche agreed, saying that better information dissemination, the lockdown, and improvement in testing capacity helped temper the transmission of the coronavirus.

The researchers said that Cebu City was “on its way” to flattening the curve if it is able to sustain gains made during the lockdown.

Loreche said that they would also recommend continuing lockdowns of areas where cases are concentrated, continue the information dissemination campaign, and community testing.

On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 1,521 new coronavirus cases in the Philippines, bringing the total up to 68,898 cases.

There are also 4 new deaths, with total deaths in the country at 1,835. At least 607 new recoveries bring the total recoveries to 23,072. –

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.