CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 29 August) — For the first time in two months, this city recorded 70 new coronavirus infections on the feast day of its patron saint, St. Augustine, on Saturday.
“This is a wonderful gift from our patron saint, St. Augustine. We are happy for our residents,” Mayor Oscar Moreno said.
The good news was followed by Malacañang’s announcement that it had extended the quarantine status to the less restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from September 1 to 7.
Under this less restrictive quarantine status, businesses like hotels and hotels are allowed to partially open in Cagayan de Oro.
Dr. Ted Yu of the City Health Office said only 70 infections were recorded while 81 Covid-19 patients have fully recovered.
Yu said five patients died overnight at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center and other private hospitals.
Cagayan de Oro has been reeling with three-digit infections since July with cases reaching as high as 300 a day. In Early August, it recorded 1,060 cases in one week.
The OCTA Research Team in its August 25 monitoring report said it detected this downtrend with reproduction of COVID-19 infections decreasing from 1.38 % to 1.15 % in the past days.
“If the trends continue, Cagayan de Oro should see the start to see a decrease in new COVID-19 cases in one or two weeks,” the independent research group said.
The research group however said the hospital bed and ICU occupancy would remain at critical level in Cagayan de Oro.
In an online briefing on Saturday, Moreno said 227 COVID-19 patients are still confined at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, the regional referral hospital in Northern Mindano.
“Of the 227 cases, 86 of them are fighting for their lives having been listed as in critical condition,” he said.
Still, Moreno said last Saturday’s figures of new COVID-19 infections were “encouraging.”
This is the second year that the Feast of St. Augustine is celebrated under a pandemic. In pre-pandemic days, the fiesta was celebrated with a beauty pageant, rodeos, festivals, and a colorful civic-military parade.
Moreno said he banned the holding of all these events and discouraged residents from holding parties in their homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the highly infectious Delta variant. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)