MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 23 August) – Despite its “high risk” classification, Bukidnon will remain under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), the provincial government’s Public Affairs Information and Assistance (PAIA) office said.
The PAIA, in a press release posted on August 19, said the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force decided on the matter in an emergency meeting on August 18, citing the need to allow people to proceed with their work and livelihood while observing strict implementation of health protocols.
Dr. Gary Guido Tabios, Jr., Bukidnon provincial health officer, reported during the meeting that as of 9 a.m. of August 17, 2021 the province recorded 1,637 active cases, 11,343 recoveries and 203 deaths. So far, the province reported a total of 13,183 total confirmed cases since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading the “high risk” areas in the province, according to the PAIA, are the towns of Manolo Fortich, Maramag, Malitbog and Quezon and the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia.
The PAIA also reported that 130,168 individuals are fully vaccinated as of August 16. The province has a population of 1.5 million as of the 2020 census of the Philippine Statistics Authority. The fully vaccinated residents represent only 8.4% of the population.
No. 1 in confirmed new local cases
Last week, Bukidnon posted the highest number of confirmed new local cases in Northern Mindanao, based on the COVID-19 briefer of the Department of Health 10’s Regional Epidemiology Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU).
According to the RESDRU briefers from August 16 – 22, of the 5,563 confirmed new cases in Northern Mindanao, 2,085 or 37.5 % were reported in Bukidnon. Cagayan de Oro City logged 1,225 cases or 22 % while Misamis Oriental followed with 1,081 cases or 19.4 %.
Bukidnon recorded more confirmed new cases last week compared with the combined number of new cases in Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte and Camiguin at 1,172.
From Aug. 16 to 22, Bukidnon topped the number of cases in six out of seven days. Also within the same period, Bukidnon reported 10 deaths out of the 77 confirmed deaths in the region.
Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr, appealed to all mayors in the region to be vigilant against COVID-19 in their areas.
The mayors raised the issue of lack of hospital bed capacity and the already full isolation facilities catering to COVID-19 cases in their areas. The task force agreed to make use of the “One Hospital Command Center” to refer appropriate cases to the right facility. It was agreed that severe COVID-19 cases will be brought to the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center (BPMC) and other identified hospitals. Patients with mild to moderate cases will remain in the isolation centers of the towns and cities.
Zubiri said he allotted ₱188 million for eight public hospitals including BPMC so they can augment their capacity to accept COVID-19 patients. He said ₱600 million was also allocated for municipalities for their needs in combating COVID-19. (MindaNews)