CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 26 August) – The COVID-19 infection rate in the city has decreased from 1.38 percent to 1.15 percent in the past seven days, the OCTA Research said in its August 25 monitoring report.
The report was welcome news for residents who have reeled from a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths starting in July this year.
“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.
Data showed that from August 18-24, the city had an average of 182 new COVID-19 cases.
OCTA said this pushed the average daily attack rate to a high level, causing the hospital bed and ICU occupancy to remain at critical status.
The OCTA report was well received by Mayor Oscar Moreno and local health officials who have been grappling with three-digit infections in the past two months.
At some point last July, Moreno said COVID-19 infections rose to as much as 300 daily cases in a single day that many patients with serious conditions had to wait for days to get rooms at JR Borja General Hospital, Northern Mindanao Medical Center and private hospitals here.
The mayor added that local hotels and pension houses rented by the local government “were filled to the brim” with asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.
“I hope the OCTA research is true because our city has suffered long enough,” he said when apprised of the OCTA briefer.
Moreno attributed their initial success to strict contact-tracing, immediate isolation of the COVID-19 cases, and vaccination against the Delta variant believed to be responsible for the surge here.
He said extracting and isolating primary and secondary contacts has proved effective compared with implementing granular lockdowns.
“ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) does not stop the virus. Extracting and isolating the patients stops the spread,” he said.
Dr. Ted Yu of the City Health Office said they have isolated at least 39 “high-risk” residents found to be positive for the Delta variant.
As of Wednesday, Cagayan de Oro has 31 recorded cases of the Delta variant, the most in Mindanao.
Yu said 271, 545 residents have been vaccinated, 186,857 of whom have received the first dose and 84,400 are fully jabbed. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)