The Department of Health – Center for Health Development (CHD) for the Ilocos Region still sees the COVID-19 Delta variant as the most dominant variant of concern in the region, as Pangasinan province recorded 40 Delta variant cases.
Dr. Rheuel Bobis, focal person for the CHD’s COVID-19 response in the region, said that as of September 24, 144 individuals have tested positive for the Delta variant. This equates to 48% of total patients with variant test results.
The Alpha variant, meanwhile, has 86 cases or 28%. The Beta variant has 68 cases, making up 23% of the total record, while the P3 variant has three cases, or 1%.
Aside from the 40 Delta variant cases in Pangasinan, 30 Alpha variant cases have also been recorded, along with 32 Beta variant cases, and one P3 variant case.
In Dagupan City, 25 tested positive for the Delta variant, three for the Alpha variant, and one for the Beta variant.
All of them have recovered.
ICU beds at ‘moderate risk’
DOH-CHD data revealed the ICU bed utilization rate in the entire region is now at 66%.
However, Bobis said Dagupan City, as well as the provinces of Ilocos Sur and La Union are currently at high-risk.
Dagupan City’s ICU beds are at 89% utilization rate, while Ilocos Sur and La Union are at 80% and 71% respectively.
The provinces of Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte are within the “safe zone” at 47% and 38%, respectively.
As for mechanical ventilators, only the province of La Union is at 74% utilization. This falls under the high-risk classification.
Regarding COVID-19 isolation wards, the region is 66% occupied. In the region, Dagupan City still remains at high-risk with 70% of its isolation beds occupied. The Ilocos Sur and La Union provinces, are at 88% and 80% respectively. Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte, meanwhile, are at 56% and 38% respectively.
Intensified vaccination rollout
The DOH-CHD is gearing up for an intensified vaccination rollout for the last quarter of 2021.
This, after they monitored a considerable increase in COVID-19 cases following celebrations during last Christmas and New Year.
“Dapat ay hindi na maulit yon, kaya kailangan ng mas pinatinding pagbabakuna”, said Bobis. (This shouldn’t be repeated, hence the need for more a intense vaccination rollout.)
Bobis said restrictions may be lifted earlier if more people get vaccinated.
The province is currently under General Community Quarantine with heightened restrictions, save for Dagupan City which is only under GCQ. – Rappler.com
Ahikam Pasion is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.