OFFICIAL STATEMENT NO. 22
EIGHTY-FIVE (85) NEW COVID-19 CASES IN CENTRAL VISAYAS, TOTAL CASES NOW AT ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY (180). NO REPORTED DEATHS; TOTAL DEATHS REMAIN AT EIGHT (8)
17 APRIL 2020
The Department of Health Central Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH CVCHD) through the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Sub-National Laboratory (VSMMC SNL) has released, as of 5:00 pm today, four hundred and twenty-three (423) test results, eighty-eight (88) of which yielded positive results including three (3) repeat tests of previously confirmed individuals. This brings the total confirmed COVID 19 cases in the region to one hundred and eighty (180).
Eighty-four (84) of the new cases are all residents of Cebu City and again are close contacts of previously confirmed cases detected through contact tracing activities. Cebu City now has a total of one hundred and sixty-one (161) cases. The other newly confirmed case is from Lapu-Lapu City. The total cases in the city are now at eight (8). Mandaue City’s cases remain at three (3). Among the provinces, there are no new cases recorded in Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental. Siquijor remains to have no documented case of COVID-19.
The additional numbers of confirmed cases resulted in the further decrease of the case fatality rate or the percentage of deaths among those who are infected with COVID-19 from 8% to 4% compared to the global average of 6.4%. The new confirmed cases all have negative to mild symptoms. They will be transferred to designated isolation areas identified by the local government units as soon as possible.
The DOH CVCHD would like to clarify that only contact tracing activities in the area where clustering of cases has been identified would be stopped. However, residents who would become symptomatic would be examined swabbed and tested following the established Influenza-like illness surveillance. The concerned areas with established sustained community transmission are already placed on complete lockdown for fourteen (14) days so that possible transmission outside the said areas would be prevented. The residents are not thought of as infected; however, quarantine is implemented to ensure that the ongoing transmission is limited within geographic reach. Preventive measures are still to be practiced by those in the area of containment. Handwashing, social/physical distancing and the wearing of masks by residents especially those who are sick and most vulnerable population are still highly encouraged. The DOH CVCHD, together with the local government units and other concerned agencies, is coordinating for necessary support the residents may need while in lockdown.
We also remind the public that existing laws on data privacy are not lifted or relaxed. On the contrary, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, emphasized that the mandatory disclosure by individuals of correct information to hasten contact tracing activities is limited to the DOH and its agents. Privacy and confidentiality of personal information is ensured. We caution the public from sharing personal information of supposedly positive persons as you will be held liable for violating data privacy laws.
Let us not give in to panic. This is the time to trust evidence-based procedures for our personal and general welfare. Let us not be paralyzed by fear but move into concerted vigilant action to achieve the goal of healing as one community and country.
God bless us all.
JAIME S. BERNADAS, MD, MGM, CESO III