C. Visayas now posts record low of new COVID-19 cases 



CEBU CITY – The Department of Health-Central Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-CVCHD) has now registered its lowest number of COVID-19 cases on August 24 with only 22 new cases for the entire region according to DOH-7 regional director Dr. Jaime Bernadas  in a virtual media talk hosted by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) assistant secretary Jonji Gonzales, Tuesday.

Bernadas said that of this number, 11 are from Cebu City; three from Mandaue City; one from Lapu-Lapu City, three from Cebu and two each in Talisay, Minglanilla and Consolacion. Negros Oriental, Bohol and Siquijor recorded zero new cases.

“This is very heart-warming for everyone,” he said and pointed out that only 22 new cases were positive out of the 462 tests conducted by the nine PCR laboratories in Cebu on that day.  This is very significant because the past three weeks, there is a slow decline of positive cases and continuously went down until now and this is the lowest report, Bernadas added

As of August 24, the region has 18,370 total positive cases; total recovery of 14,569 and active cases of 2,729.  COVID-19 Cases are on a downward trend compared to the figures in the last week of May up to July, Bernadas said that this is encouraging for the health workers and the hospitals that have responded well, he said.

“In addition, the critical care utilization went down to the safe level of 30 percent and below. It’s a breather for the health workers but it doesn’t mean we should be complacent in the barangays, municipalities and cities,” Bernadas noted.

The real front liners are the barangays, where there should be vigilance in influenza-like-illness surveillance; in identifying positive cases and doing contact tracing and most importantly, in isolating the positive cases.  He noted that these are the best ways to stop the spread of the virus.

Bernadas then reminded everybody to continue observing health protocols. It may be a breather, but it is not yet time to celebrate.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., medical center chief of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center VSMMC) also observed that COVID-19 cases at the hospital has also went down.  Compared to the last week of May up to the middle of July, there were days when the new cases at the hospital would reach 170 to 180, he said.

“As of August 24, only 15 percent of hospital patients were considered probable.  Out of 517 total patients, 79 are probable and confirmed.  If you look at number of confirmed cases, as of Tuesday, only one patient tested positive of COVID-19,” Aquino added.

The VSMMC, which has been focusing on treating COVID-19 patients, plans to slowly open up the hospital to non-COVID patients, he said. The hospital will be using part of the lobby as the outpatient department for non-COVID cases.

According to Aquino, they plan to open gradually the hospital’s OPD and elective surgery services in the first week of September upon approval of Regional Director Bernadas.