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More than a thousand business process outsourcing (BPO) workers and market vendors received COVID-19 vaccine shots in their workplaces over the weekend as Mayor Evelio Leonardia extended the general community quarantine with heightened restrictions (GCQ-HR) until the end of August.
The city government also opened the first drive-through vaccine center here on Sunday, August 15, at the 5th-floor parking area of Ayala Malls Capitol Central.
City officials said the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospital utilization rates are on a downward trend. On Saturday, August 14, the city reported only 12 new cases, down from 38 on August 13, 24 on August 12, and 49 on August 11. This brings the city’s active cases to 736. There were no new deaths and 23 recoveries.
But the confirmation of the first two cases of the more infectious Delta variant here on Friday, August 13, prompted the decision to extend the current quarantine status.
The city Emergency Operations Center (EOC) said 1,130 PanAsiatic Soluriins-Bacolod call center agents and administrative staff received anti-COVID shots at their workplace on Saturday, August 14, while 490 Teleperformance employees got theirs at a local mall. A day earlier, 428 vendors in three different markets also got their jabs through the mobile team.
The weekend vaccination drive brought the number of inoculated BPO employees to 4,324.
BPO workers who need to report to physical workplaces are vulnerable to outbreaks.
In February this year, Transcom suspended operations here after 41 workers got infected. The company now has the most number of agents inoculated at 1,600, according to EOC records.
Aside from Transcom and PanAsiatic Solutions, Teleperformance has also vaccinated more than a thousand workers.
The EOC said case numbers were already down when the Philippine Genome Center reported that two residents who tested positive mid-July carried the Delta variant.
Experts say the Delta variant is 60% more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain.
Bacolod started the year with only 151 new cases in January, and only 80 in February, before jumping to 269 in March.
The surge came in April with 1,407 new cases, May with 2,215, and an all-time high of 3,557 cases in June, before dropping to 2,259 in July. Only 475 cases were reported in the first two weeks of August.
At the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, the positivity rate from samples brought in by the city epidemiology and surveillance unit and tested by the hospital’s molecular lab, was down to 17.02% on Saturday, August 14 from the month’s peak of 33.13% on August 4.
Figures the month before were worse, with a 58% positivity rate recorded on July 13. – Rappler.com