General Santos City sees sudden spike in COVID-19 cases

Rommel Rebollido
General Santos City sees sudden spike in COVID-19 cases

REVIEW. Public health front-line workers at the Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital in General Santos go over their vaccination campaign lists.

Rommel Rebollido/Rappler

From only three cases, the number of newly documented COVID-19 infections in General Santos climbs to 26 in just two days, according to data from the city government

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Health authorities noted a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in General Santos City in Soccsksargen.

From only three cases on January 5, Wednesday, the number of newly documented COVID-19 infections rose to 19 on Thursday, January 6, and then 26 on Friday, January 7, data from the city government of General Santos showed.

Dr. Fidel Peñamante, president of the local chapter of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), on Friday, January 7, attributed the increase to the holidays when many residents became complacent and took part in reunions, parties, and outdoor activities.

“Many of those who joined the revelries were unvaccinated,” Peñamante said.

He noted that General Santos has yet to achieve herd immunity status, citing data from the City Health Office that showed it has vaccinated 64% of its 459,732-target.

Dr. Ryan Aplicador, head of the local government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital, had anticipated an increase in COVID-19 cases in the city in January. He told Brigada News FM earlier that many residents disregarded basic public health protocols during the holidays.

Regionwide, newly documented COVID-19 infections reached 36 new cases on Friday, January 7, according to the Department of Health (DOH). It was the highest single-day tally during the first week of 2022.

DOH data showed that Soccsksargen logged 179 new COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days with South Cotabato province registering the most at 60, followed by Cotabato province with 39, General Santos with 38, Sultan Kudarat with 25, and Sarangani with 17. –

Rommel Rebollido is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

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