Omicron variant

22 Omicron variant cases confirmed in Cebu

John Sitchon
22 Omicron variant cases confirmed in Cebu

TARGET. With the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, JABS. Cebu residents receive vaccine booster shots at a vaccination site near Cebu City Hall.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

The Department of Health in Central Visayas asks asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases to quarantine at home, unless they are unvaccinated or have comorbidities

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu has 22 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), said on Tuesday, January 18.

“Kahit wala pa ang results, sinasabi ko na (even without results, I am already saying this), seeing the way our cases are doubling and tripling in a matter of days, it’s already a given that Omicron is already with us,” she said in a press briefing.

A report from the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) dated Monday, January 17, said 16 of the confirmed cases are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), one a returning overseas Filipino (ROF), and five from the local community.

The report covered 78 samples sent to the PGC for testing, from December 27 to January 6.

“This is reflected in our capacity utilization rate for the private hospitals in Cebu,” Loreche added.

As of this writing, the capacity utilization rate of private hospitals is at 35.9%. The province has 231 currently admitted COVID patients and 413 still available beds.

According to Loreche, 137 out of the 231 admitted patients are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

“Nanawagan na naman tayo na yung mga asymptomatic or mild, home quarantine na lang tayo. ‘Wag na muna tayong pumuno sa ating mga hospital, unless you have a comorbidity or you are unvaccinated,” she said. (I am calling anew on asymptomatic or mild cases to just go on home quarantine. Let us not fill our hospitals, unless you have a comorbidity or are unvaccinated.)

Cases in Cebu province are at an all-time high, especially in Cebu City. On Monday, January 17, Cebu City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) reported 671 new COVID-19 cases – breaking the record for the highest number of new COVID-19 cases reported in a day.

Based on DOH-7’s tally, Cebu City has 3,109 active cases, while Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City have 580 and 607, respectively. The rest of the province has 1,537 active cases. –