Bohol recorded a whopping 1,014 new coronavirus disease cases in a span of eight days, but the surge abruptly stopped when all two of the province’s COVID-19 testing laboratories suspended operations for maintenance work.
A compilation of data from the provincial government showed that Bohol posted an average of over 126 new infections per day from June 21 to June 28, 2021.
However, the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the province only increased from 1,269 on June 21 to 1,529 on June 28 as the Capitol has also been reporting a high volume of recoveries during the said period.
The Capitol data showed that 663 COVID-19-stricken individuals recovered during the same period.
On June 30, Bohol posted zero new cases with both the RT-PCR laboratories of the province and the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) suspending their operations.
Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief Dr. Yul Lopez earlier announced that their containerized lab underwent maintenance work from June 29 to June 30.
Meanwhile, GCGMH medical director Dr. Mutya Macuno said their molecular laboratory will suspend operations from June 29 to July “4 or 5.”
According to Bohol Medical Society (BMS) president Dr. Jefferson Ong, controlling the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases would be up to the public.
“As much as possible atong pugngan sa tagsa-tagsa nato na behavior. Ang behavioral change gyud sa taw na mo balik ta na conscious ta sa atoang pagsunod sa minimum social health practices, wearing of face mask, regular hand washing, social distancing mao ra g’yud nay maka prevent sa pag transmit sa virus,” said Ong.
Ong also expressed alarm over the possibility of patients with illnesses other than the coronavirus disease to be neglected or not get adequate medical attention if the number of COVID-19 cases in Bohol continues to soar.
Ong aired his concern after the GCGMh, Bohol’s largest public hospital, was forced to only cater to patients with COVID-19 symptoms due to the soaring number of cases of the disease in the province.
“That is alarming kay kaning atong premier medical center mao ang Celestino Gallares Hospital dili na maka accommodate og lain kaso gawas sa COVID, so mao na atong giingon sauna na og mo abot gani og critical phase na gitawag nato na sustained community transmission,” said Ong on Thursday last week.
The GCGMH, which transitioned to its “COVID-19 Phase” on June 23, will continue to only accept patients with COVID-19 symptoms until July 14.
The facility also suspended its elective surgical and OB-Gyne procedures and ambulatory services during the same period.
GCGMH, which is also the province’s main COVID-19 referral health facility, has explained that the transition was made due to the rising number of virus cases in Bohol.
According to Ong, this is a cause for concern considering that there are other diseases and medical concerns that are more serious than COVID-19.
He said indigents who are mostly getting medical services at the GCGMH could end up not getting assistance.
“Ang mahitabo g’yud ani kung fully COVID-19 na gyud ang atoang premier medical center posibli na dili na ma attend tong mga indigents nga naa puy critical illness kay hibaw man ta na COVID-19 is not the most deadly naa pay mas kuyaw na sakit,” said Ong.
“Bisag kana sila dili na nato ma attend tungod kay e-priority man nato ang COVID which is of course highly contagious na illness,” he added.
Meanwhile, private hospitals in Bohol are still accepting patients with non-COVID-19 symptoms.
To continue accommodating the patients, however, most of the health facilities are forced to limit their COVID-19 beds.
Looking after COVID-19 patients could also exhaust a private hospital’s manpower and lead to being shorthanded as some personnel need to undergo quarantine, Ong added.
“Usa pud na problema aning COVID, taxing kaayo sa atong manpower kay kinahanglan na naa assigned ra sa usa ka area unya dili pwede mo tabok og lain area unya nig human sa ilang shift naa pa pud na silay quarantine period,” said Ong.