Refrain from attending parties, gatherings, Kagay-anons told

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 5 Jan) – Authorities here on Wednesday urged residents to refrain from attending parties and gatherings amid concerns on an uptick of COVID-19 cases noted here five days after New Year’s Day.

Dr. Ted Yu, City Health Office medical officer, said 11 COVID-19 infections were recorded in the city’s hospitals last Tuesday, compared to only three cases recorded last Monday, increasing the Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR) to 38 percent.

Yu said three of the 11 cases were infected after attending a post New Year’s Day party in the city while the rest were infected for not practicing social distancing and wearing facemasks.

He said there is now a total of 33 active cases in Cagayan de Oro with only two recoveries.

“Not attending parties or gatherings is better than getting infected,” Yu said during Wednesday’s press briefing.

Mayor Oscar Moreno immediately called for a review of their operational plan against the Omicron variant.

Moreno also ordered the police and barangay officials to implement the local ordinance on social distancing and wearing of masks in public places.

“Our health indicators, the ADAR and two-week growth rate, are disturbingly rising. Conservatively we must assume that the Omicron variant is already here,” Moreno said.

Moreno said he is concerned that a surge of COVID-19 cases in Cagayan de Oro and other provinces in Region 10 would swamp the health systems in the city anew.

Moreno pointed at the rising COVID-19 cases in Misamis Oriental and Iligan City, with 10 patients now confined at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center here, the main regional hospital.

He said mechanical ventilators, which are essential for COVID-19 treatment, are only available in hospitals in Cagayan de Oro.

Moreno said to remedy the lack of beds, the entire fourth floor of the J.R. Borja Hospital has been converted for COVID-9 patients.

He urged the ramping up of the vaccination for city residents and neighboring provinces to counter the Omicron threat.

“We will accommodate any resident from the neighboring provinces to get their first, second and booster shots in Cagayan de Oro,” Moreno said.

As of Jan. 4, the City Health Office reported that 440,339 out of the target 518,000 Kagay-anons for vaccination have already been given their first and second doses. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)