COVID-19 cases in Iloilo City continue to decline

This city's COVID-19 cases at the start of October are less than half in the same period last month, when peak infections of the pandemic surged, city health officials said on Thursday, October 7.

The City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (CESU) data showed 415 new COVID-19 cases in the first six days of October, with a daily average of 69 cases. This is a big drop compared to the first six days of September, when the city recorded 906 new cases or an average of 151 new cases per day.

September 2021 was the city’s worst since the pandemic began, with 4,061 new COVID cases for the entire month, the CESU said.

Based on the mode of transmission, 360 of these cases were of local transmission, or within the community or the household; 55 were index cases, 1 was from a returning overseas Filipino (ROF), 3 were from returning residents, and 1 was an authorized person outside of residence (APOR).

As of October 2, the city has had 377 COVID deaths, 107 of which were directly caused by the disease, 171 with indirect causes, and 58 yet to be verified.

In a virtual presser, the city government’s COVID-19 focal person, Dr. Roland Jay Fortuna, said the direct and indirect cause of deaths depended on the deaths’ relation to COVID-19

“If we look at our hospitals, there are deaths that even though they are COVID positive, their cause of death may be heart attack, or for example, problems in the gall bladder or sepsis. These are problems are not directly related to COVID. There are also [COVID patients] who die of stroke or bleeding in the brain. But if the cause of death is COVID, they are included in those who have direct causes,” Fortuna explained.

Fortuna also cited data by the Department of Health-Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-WV CHD), in stating that the city’s cases were declining compared to the rest of Western Visayas.

Iloilo City currently has the 4th most number of COVID-19 cases reported this month (421), trailing leaders Negros Occidental (1,280), Bacolod City (844), and Iloilo province (843).

The city is followed by Capiz (229), Guimaras and Antique (69 each), and Aklan (38).

As to new cases in the last two weeks based on the DOH data (September 23 to October 6), Iloilo City is also in fourth (1,231), trailing behind Negros Occidental (3,307), Iloilo province (2,272), and Bacolod City (1,916).

Capiz still follows Iloilo City with 671 new cases in the last 14 days, and trailed by Antique (186), and Aklan (143).

Fortuna said the biggest factor in the decrease of new cases was the city’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, on top of community quarantine protocols and contact tracing.

The city government’s COVID vaccination data as of October 5 showed that 155,118 individuals, or 50.45% percent of the city’s 525,000 population target, have been fully vaccinated.

 “Right now, the protocols we laid down in the city [is one of the reasons], but maybe the biggest factor in hindering [COVID] transmission is our accomplishment in [COVID] vaccination," Fortuna said. "In the previous weeks, we have been through MECQ and ECQ, and now we are at GCQ. Our protocols for arriving or returning residents may have also helped, and the cooperation of the people. The most important maybe is active contact tracing where we easily spot close contacts,” he said. – Rappler.com