An alliance of socio-political organizations called Luwas Cagayan (Save Cagayan) along with 26 barangay captains here have asked Mayor Oscar Moreno to declare the city under c (ECQ) after 4 more cases of COVID-19 were revealed.
As of Friday, May 8, Cagayan de Oro City has a total of 7 coronavirus disease cases.
The village chiefs told Moreno that they preferred a stricter lockdown to curb the rise of COVID-19 cases. They also asked the city government to provide additional food relief once the ECQ is in place.
Most vocal among the group was Barangay Puerto chairman Ian Achas, whose area is where all the 7 cases are located. Four of those who contracted the disease have died.
“While city hall denies, Dr Dave Mendoza of DOH 10 (Northern Mindanao) confirmed that there is already a local transmission of COVID-19. This has been neglected by the city government in its daily press con along with DOH 10 Director Suba-an,” Achas said.
Achas belitttled the efforts of the City Health Office, led by epidemiologist Dr Joselito Retuya, for the agency's inability to trace the source of the local transmission of the disease.
Achas also lambasted the city's meager food response, saying that only few people received the 5 kilos of rice and some canned goods “This was distributed a few weeks ago and has not been followed up,” Achas said.
Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano on Thursday, May 7, also wrote a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte asking that his province and this city be placed under ECQ.
In his letter, Emano said that his provincial government and the different LGUs here have been exerting their best effort in responding to the crisis.
Emano said, that the "continued unified efforts of the local leaders have resulted to a ZERO case of the disease in Misamis Oriental as of today.”
Emano said he was worried because Cagayan de Oro was in the middle of the province this may lead to the spread of COVD-19 cases to the rest of the province.
“With the number of positive cases now recorded in Cagayan de Oro City, (we) fear and worry the disease might spread across Misamis Oriental, (because) thousands still travel to and from the city,” Emano said.
Meanwhile, Moreno said that on his part said that he would continue to abide the guidelines set by the Interagency Task Force (IATF) while strengthening the city's response through intensified contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, recovery model set by the National Action Plan on COVID-19.
Moreno brushed aside the letter of Emano and the request of the 26 barangay captains.
He said: “I am looking at the whole picture and the welfare of everyone, I did not run to be popular,” Moreno said.
Department of Health Region 10 Director Adriano Suba-an said that the DOH already forwarded its recommendation to the city government which is currenty under general community quartantine (GCQ).
Suba-an, however, confirmed there was already a local transmission of COVID-19 in the city and 3 of the cases cannot be traced where they got the virus.
“We confirmed that we now have a local transmission in Cagayan de Oro right now, we have given our recommendation to the local government so we can strengthen our response to prevent the spread of the virus,” Suba-an said.
“We need to recalibrate our steps in detecting, isolation, treatment and recovery,” Suba-an said.
Basis for ECQ
Suba-an said that DOH Northern Mindanao was aware of the request of Governor Emano and other organizations to put the city under ECQ.
Suba-an said that there are 5 indicators that need to be studied to come up with an ECQ status. These are:
“Critical care indicator refers to the utilization of Intesive Care Unit equipment of Norhtern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), in terms of the use of the mechanical ventilators, occupancy rate of ICU and isolation beds, that is what we are monitoring and looking at because that will be one of the basis of to elevate from GCQ to ECQ,” Suba-an said.
NMMC Chief of Hospital Dr Jose Chan said that NMMC has 51 mechanical ventilators available and with just below 10 now in use.
Dr Bernard Rocha, spokesman of the NMMC said the health system is not yet overwhelmed. The Infection and Re-emerging Infectious Disease (IRID) unit of the hospital has 14 patients, but as of May 8, only one is for COVID-19.
Suba-an also asked the people to continue with the containment solutions.
“Containment – testing, isolating and quarantine and healing, recovery, regular hand washing, mask, cough etiquette, including environmental and community intervention,” Suba-an said.
The CHO which conducts active house-to-house surveillance had covered 70,662 households from April 1 to May 6. So far, it has documented 2,602 cases of influenza-like and acute respiratory cases and successfully treated 1,932. As of this writing, 610 cases are still being treated and monitored.
The City Isolation Units which has an increased capacity of over 500 persons, houses new arrivals, including returning overseas Filipino workers. According to City Health Officer and Emergency Operation Center head Dr Lorraine Nery, the isolation facilities has 111 patients in different stages of their 14-day quarantine. – Rappler.com