CEBU CITY – A member of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response team in Central Visayas (Region 7) on Thursday urged the fully vaccinated residents of the region to be role models in the strict observance of the minimum health protocols in their community to help prevent a further surge in active cases.
Department of Health (DOH)-Region 7 chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said vaccinated persons should take away the “mindset that since they are already vaccinated, they can do away with the public health measures.”
Loreche said the confidence of being vaccinated with any brand of the Covid-19 vaccines could become one of the reasons behind the current surge in Covid-19 cases in the region.
The latest DOH-7 bulletin showed that Region 7 has a total of 9,252 active coronavirus cases under observation in various healthcare and isolation facilities, with most of the patients being asymptomatic.
Negros Oriental is listed as having the highest number of cases at 3,182, followed by Bohol (1,683); Cebu (1,380); and Siquijor (49); while Cebu City was recorded with the highest number of cases among the highly urbanized cities at 1,689, followed by Lapu-Lapu City (753), and Mandaue City (516).
The region has a total of 69,503 recoveries with 2,364 deaths due to Covid-19.
“The possibility of (having) variants of concern but this needs validation of course from the PGC (Philippine Genome Center). However, mutations we know do happen when transmissions are uncontrolled,” Loreche told the Philippine News Agency in a virtual interview.
She said the surge in cases that the region is currently experiencing may also be attributed to people’s movement “as we have a truly open economy” as well as the complacency of the people “such that there is a laxity in the implementation and practice of the minimum public health measures.”
She also said opening the borders between localities “which is relative to the open economy” could also become a reason for contagion.
“Double masking can of course be useful. However, even with a single mask provided this is worn properly, and the rest of the public health measures embraced, then we can have control in the spread of the virus,” Loreche said when asked if wearing double masks could help protect an individual against coronavirus.
Loreche, who is also Visayas Vaccination Operations Center spokesperson, however, believed that local government units in Central Visayas have functional operation centers that can work to prevent further surge in Covid-19 cases.
She said strengthening their functions and the possibility of adding measures can further help curb the rising cases.
“For everyone to be more conscious of their role in this pandemic, discipline and adherence to the public health measures and vaccinate, vaccinate and vaccinate,” Loreche said. (PNA)