CDO’s acting City Health Officer resigns amid continuing surge in COVID cases

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 19 June) —  The acting City Health Officer here tendered her resignation on Friday amid a continuing surge in COVID-19 cases, with 2,065 new cases recorded in 18 days.

Mayor Oscar Moreno on Saturday announced that he had accepted the resignation of Dr. Lorraine Nery as acting City Health Officer and deputy of the city’s task force against COVID-19 since the pandemic reached Cagayan de Oro in March last year. But Nery will remain as one of the doctors of the City Health Office, he said.

An ambulance driver gets instructions and directions to the location of a COVID-19 patient he was to pick up Monday evening (7 June 2021). A spike of cases in Cagayan de Oro City prompted authorities to implement the stricter Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Moreno said he appointed Nery in 2019 as acting city health officer to provide her organizational expertise to reform the health department.

“I have no regret in having made that decision,” said Moreno in his daily presser  on Saturday.

The City Information Office has yet to release  a copy of Nery’s letter of resignation.

City Information Officer Maricel Casiño-Rivera said the letter is still with Mayor Moreno at his office.

Moreno, in a one-page statement, appointed Dr. William Bernardo, currently the head of the city Health Insurance Department to replace Nery.

City Hall sources said Moreno was disappointed when COVID-19 cases were not immediately transported to and admitte din the city isolation units (CIU) and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF).

Moreno said COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic should be confined in these facilities to help unburden the hospital system in the city.

The city government has rented several hotels and converted them into temporary facilities for mild COVID-19 cases.

“We have enough rooms for these cases. It is just a matter of coordinating its operations,“ Moreno said.

Nery headed and managed the operations of these facilities as deputy of the anti-coronavirus task force.

She also headed the vaccination roll out in the city that Moreno wanted to move faster.

City Hall sources said there was a meeting Thursday among Moreno, Nery and other officials and that Nery offered to resign but the offer was turned down by Moreno.

According to the CHO COVID-19 Operations Center, the city recorded as of June 18, a total of 9,280 cases, of which 1,562 are active, 7,302 are recoveries and 416 are deaths.

On June 1, the city recorded a total of 7,215 cases, 1,272 of these active, 5,615 recoveries and 328 deaths.The city posted an increase of 2,065 cases from 7,215 on June 1 to 9,280 on June 18 and 88 deaths from 328 on June 1 to 416 on June 18.  (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)