Twenty days since the testing of patients suspected of having coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) started to be done locally, the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 7 (Central Visayas) reported a sudden spike in the number of confirmed cases to 68.
According to the DOH-7 monitoring report on Wednesday, out of 216 test results, 28 came out positive, including the five repeat tests of previously confirmed patients.
Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 regional director, said the 28 positive cases “bring the confirmed cases in the region to 68,” with zero fatality.
Of the 69, there are 22 positive cases from this city and one from Mandaue, which has now three cases. Lapu-Lapu City’s cases remain at four.
When the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) was designated as sub-national laboratory authorized to conduct testing on Covid-19 suspects or probable cases last March 27, there were 22 positive cases that came out of 229 swab samples.
On Wednesday was the second time that VSMMC-SNL tested more than 200 specimens.
Nevertheless, Bernadas downplayed the increasing number of positive cases, saying that “the increase in the number of confirmed cases resulted in the decrease of the case fatality rate or the percentage of deaths among those who are infected with Covid-19 from 18 percent to 11 percent”.
He said the new reported confirmed cases all have negative to mild symptoms.
“The large number of new confirmed cases is a result of the effective contact tracing activities and rapid release of results from our testing laboratory,” Bernadas explained.
Meanwhile, he bared that the close proximity of living arrangements and the prolonged time of interaction as factors that will facilitate the spread of infection.
“We emphasize that Covid-19 is transmitted via droplet and contact with surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus. With these modes of transmission, handwashing is the most effective way of preventing its spread,” he added.
The DOH-7 chief encouraged people in the region to wear face masks, do handwashing and regular disinfection if social or physical distancing is difficult to implement due to limited space or high number of residents in the same household. (PNA)