Governor Art Yap has projected that the more virulent Delta variant of COVID-19 will eventually make its way into the province.
“It is a matter of time before the Delta variant reaches Bohol,” Yap said.
Yap, in a statement issued Friday, instructed mayors to prioritize the vaccination of senior citizens and overseas Filipino workers in the province’s vaccination drive as part of efforts to contain the anticipated spread of the variant.
“We must double the numbers in two weeks’ time. We have to increase our vaccinations quickly to protect against the delta variant,” Yap said.
Bohol however is solely dependent on the vaccines being allocated by the national government.
On Monday, the province received 50,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The jabs for Bohol were part of the national government’s allocation for Central Visayas, as Metro Cebu and Negros Oriental were also given 96,450 doses and 33,350 doses, respectively.
Earlier, Dr. Bong Lechago, medical director of the Holy Name University Medical Center (HNU-MC), expressed concern over the possible entry of the dreaded Delta variant which could lead to a surge in new virus cases and eventually overwhelm the province’s healthcare system.
“Ang healthcare system nato ma overwhelm, dili ka accommodate sa kadaghan sa kaso kung simbako lang mo kalat ng delta variant,” said Lechago in an interview over station dyRD on Wednesday.
Lechago was especially concerned over the Delta variant’s higher transmissibility as he noted that it could spread twice as fast as the original strain of the virus.
“Buot pasabot ang usa ka kaso na na infected makatakod tulo or upat ka taw pero kining sa Delta variant instead of tulo or upat, makatakod ni siya og walo kabuok. Kung atong huna-hunaon mathematically, kung maka spread ni siya, usa nay walo, unya kaning walo mo takod og laing walo. So paspas kaayo siya, exponential ang rise,” said Lechago.
Based on the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force’s real-time data of hospital admissions in the province, only seven of the 68 COVID-19 ward and isolation beds at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) were available as of Friday morning.
Eight of the 14 ICU beds of the hospital were also occupied.
The GCGMH is the main COVID-19 referral hospital in the province and only tertiary-level health facility.
Meanwhile, 53 of the combined 81 COVID-19 beds at the four private hospitals in Tagbilaran City, namely Ace Medical Center Bohol, Ramiro Community Hospital, Tagbilaran Community Hospital, and HNU-MC, were occupied.
The four private facilities are also Bohol’s only Level II hospitals. (with a report from R. Tutas)