NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Boholanos are alarmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases during the past two days as health authorities reported 97 new cases in a day last Friday.
The 97 new cases, the biggest number of new cases in a day brought the total to 1,121 cases as of yesterday after 77 other new cases were reported, out of the 423 swab samples processed at the two government laboratories in the city. There were 20 frontliners in the medical field included in the new cases.
The public is alarmed if these more than 1,000 positive cases are properly quarantined since there is a near shortage of hospitals beds in the province with designated COVID-19 beds almost hitting 70-75% occupancy in both government and private hospitals.
Those not confined in the hospitals likewise worry residents as to who strictly monitors them while on home quarantine.
According to the Daily COVID Tracking Report by the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force on the management of Emerging Infectious Disease, the 93 new cases came after the 507 swab samples gave out a high positivity rate of 19.13%.
In the same report, of the over a thousand active cases, 1,091 of these are from local residents who averred that they had no history of travel outside Bohol.
“They may have apparently contracted the disease from mingling with other people who may have been exposed or are carrying the virus but are asymptomatic,” health observers assumed.
On the same day, June 11, deaths by COVID-19 also increased with the day’s reported two more cases.
The two deaths bring the total COVID deaths in June to eight, in the beginning, eleven days of the month.
The day’s report also elevates the cumulative total of confirmed COVID cases in Bohol to 4,906, from a total of 65,991 swab samples processed for traces of the virus in the patient’s body, taken from March 2020.
Tagbilaran, the capital city, registered the most cases from the day at 22 followed by Sierra Bullones with 12 cases, Balilihan 7; Maribojoc 5, Sagbayan, Candijay, Tubigon at 4 each; Loboc and Antequera, 3, Aliocia, Lila 2, and one new case each in the towns of Loay, Loon, Inabanga, Bilar, Dagohoy, Albur, Dauis, Batuan and Guindulman.
The BIATF report, which is contained in an infographic, also showed that Tagbilaran City has the most number of COVID cases at 311.
The same visual report showed that most of the cases in Bohol are thickest in concentration in towns near Tagbilaran.
Dauis, a town less than five kilometers from Tagbilaran has 49 cases, Baclayon, at less than 10 kilometers from the city, has 22 cases. Corella, 10 kilometers on Tagbilaran City’s east has 28 COVID cases, while Cortes, on the city’s northeast records 38 COVID cases.
Towns closer to Tagbilaran with high cases include Panglao at 28, Balilihan at 42, Antequera at 42, Maribojoc at 34, Catigbian at 24 and Sevilla at 29.
TWO MORE DEATHS
Two more deaths add up to the number of coronavirus disease (COVID) casualties this week in Bohol, bringing the total deaths since May 26, 2020, when the first COVID death case was recorded here.
The two recent deaths bring the total deaths to 63, a year and a month after Bohol closed its borders to curb the spread of the viral disease that has closed schools and several establishments since 2020.
The recent deaths also bring the death count in June to 8, a figure that is already high considering that the first year recorded a monthly average of mortality cases of 1.9 in a month.
From March 16 2020 to March 15, 2021, Bohol recorded 23 mortality cases, which sums up to a 1.9 monthly average of death cases.
In 2021 however, beginning April, cases began to wriggle out of control, despite the start of the national vaccination roll-out here which started May 6.
In April 2021 for example, the month ended with 13 mortality cases, which was also coupled with the problem of vaccine refusal, even by community influencers.
By May 2021, the death cases continued to increase with the month ending with 15 deaths and the local provincial vaccine operations center reporting they are starting to give priority groups A2 their first jabs.
This early in June, Bohol has already seen 8 deaths, in time when the National Vaccine Operation Center reports indicate that they are starting the inoculations for those individuals in basic essential sectors, in a bid to increase COVID-resistance to business operators and boost consumer confidence.
Despite vaccine reluctance issues, in Bohol, local government officials have tried desperately to get personal information available to those who refuse to be vaccinated, if only to convince them to get full protection against the virus. (with reports from rahchiu/PIA-7/Bohol)