Officials worried over rising COVID-19 cases in Cagayan de Oro

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 29 September) —  The City Health Office here has warned that hospital care resources and bed capacities of local isolation units will soon be overwhelmed if the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise daily.

City Health Office chief Dr. Lorraine Nery said they recorded 92 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in the city last weekend.

Nery said 75 cases were local transmissions and only 17 cases were traced to  the Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF) categories.

She said this brought the number of active cases in the city to 274.

“Our COVID-19 cases are really rising,” Nery said.

Residents wear face shields over their masks in Cagayan de Oro City on Monday, 17 August 2020 after the Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board implemented a “No Face Shield, No Ride ” policy in all public utility vehicles. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Mayor Oscar Moreno said there would come a time when the rising COVID-19 cases will threaten the hospital care resources at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center and the city isolation units.

“I am praying that we will not reach this stage,” Moreno said as he exhorted residents to practice health protocols like wearing of masks and face shields, physical distancing and frequent hand washing in public cases.

Moreno said he is worried because for the first time local transmissions among residents have exceeded the LSI and ROF categories.

NMMC  spokesperson Dr. Bernard Rocha said there are 40 COVID-19 patients admitted in the hospital, which have converted three of its floors for treating virulent coronavirus cases.

Nery said the 274 cases, many of whom are suffering only mild symptoms, are isolated in the 17 temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) and 18 city isolation units.

She said 56 of the patients are senior citizens while 72 cases are children.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Senator Richard Gordon announced the inauguration of its 10th molecular laboratory in Cagayan de Oro last September 19.

Gordon said the laboratory is capable of handling 4,000 tests a day using its own automated RNA Extraction and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine.

He said the laboratory is intended for Northern Mindanao including Lanao del Sur province. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)