BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Department of Health – Center for Health and Development 6 reported that COVID-19 cases are rising anew in Western Visayas, especially in highly-urbanized cities of Iloilo and Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Guimaras and Iloilo province, from August 20 to September 2.
New cases reported in Region 6 rose by 16 percent from 8,359 (August 6 to 19) to 9,696 (August 20 to September 2), with Negros Occidental posted the highest rise at 64 percent, the DOH report said.
Iloilo City followed with 44 percent, Guimaras and Iloilo province with 41 percent each, and 26 percent in Bacolod City.
The remaining areas posted a decline in new cases, including in Capiz (-15 percent), Antique (-34 percent), and Aklan (-55 percent).
However, the number of cases per 100,000 population increased with 24.75 percent in Iloilo City , followed by Guimaras at 17.20 percent, Iloilo province at 14.85 percent, Bacolod City at 8.55 percent, Aklan at 6.64 percent), Antique at 6.04 percent, Capiz at 5.14 percent, with Negros Occidental as the lowest with 2.73 percent.
Negros Occidental is now experiencing in what appears to be a “surge” of COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said, citing an increasing number of active cases in the past two weeks.
Definitely, more contagious variants are present in Negros Occidental, Lacson said, as the province logged two fatalities of highly-infectious Delta variant, including a 40-year Returning Overseas Filipino in San Carlos City and 9 year-old boy in Silay City.
Lacson said the Delta variant has already been around in Negros Occidental, noting that genome sequencing was only recently done.
It doesn’t matter anymore what the variant is, the concern is the virus that still here, Lacson said, stressing that need to observe minimum health protocols. “It’s more of discipline behavior already on our part, such as avoiding gatherings”, he added.
Negros Occidental logged 1,156 COVID-19 active cases, with six reported deaths on Sept. 6, from its lowest figure of more than 600 last month.*