ILOILO CITY – The Department of Health in Western Visayas (DOH-WV) has classified the province of Guimaras as the only high-risk area in the region due to the ballooning number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases recorded.
Guimaras has recorded a 420 percent growth rate based on the comparison of its cases in the recent one to two weeks versus the previous three to four weeks ago. From April 20 to May 3, the province recorded 10 cases and 52 from May 4 to 17, or a difference of 42 cases.
Dr. Bea Camille F. Natalaray, section head of the DOH-WV Center for Health Development integrated non-communicable diseases prevention and control program, on Thursday said they are also monitoring the increasing number of infections in Aklan, Iloilo Province, and Iloilo City.
“In the whole region, we are at low risk because of our negative growth rate (-32 percent) and drop to 2.75 percent from the previous 4.7 percent on average daily attack rate. However, we are monitoring Aklan, Guimaras, Iloilo (province), and Iloilo City,” she said.
Aklan, Iloilo province and Iloilo City have moderate growth rates at 83 percent, 30 percent, and 67 percent, respectively.
Computed together with their average daily attack rate per 100,000 population, Guimaras was classified as high-risk while the three others are moderate. The rest of the provinces in Western Visayas are at low risk, she said.
Local government units (LGUs) with surging Covid-19 infections are encouraged to strictly implement prevention, detection, isolation and treatment, and reintegration strategy.
Natalaray attributed the surge in infections to social gatherings and transmission in local places.
“They need to strengthen their prevention strategies and observe the minimum public health standards such as handwashing, physical distancing, wearing of face mask and face shield when in populated areas, detection and isolation of symptomatic and closed contacts,” she added.
She said the LGUs must ensure that minimum public health standards are observed during a mass gathering, as well as in workplaces.
“If they have symptoms, they should no longer report to their offices. Just inform so they can be tested for Covid-19,” the health official said.
Meantime, the province of Guimaras on May 18 opened a Covid-19 ward at the Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital (DCGNPH) in Barangay San Miguel, Jordan due to the escalation in the number of cases on the island.
The isolation ward has 10 air-conditioned rooms with 20- bed capacity. It will cater to patients with moderate symptoms, and with comorbidities and severe and critical cases.
It will be manned by medical personnel of the DCGNPH, Nueva Valencia District Hospital, and newly hired medical professionals.
As of May 19, Western Visayas has 41,606 total accumulated cases composed of 5,343 active, recoveries at 35,234, and 1,019 deaths. (PNA)