BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
“It’s already late” was the reaction of Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for medical and data analysis of the Emergency Operations Center, on the flagging of Bacolod as an area of concern by the OCTA Research Group of the University of the Philippines, due to a sudden spike of Covid cases in the city in past weeks.
Sorongon said they had already noted a downward trend on the number of new Covid cases in Bacolod lately.
But he said that the EOC appreciates the report of OCTA as it helped them re-analyze the data of Covid cases in Bacolod thoroughly.
Sorongon said that since the last week of December, the city’s average daily cases were in single digits but by March 16, the cases suddenly went up until last month.
The daily average of new Covid infections in Bacolod since last month was at 40 up while the highest single day of new cases recorded was 180, EOC records showed.
This can be attributed to the fact that some Authorized Persons Outside Residence, who were allowed to enter the city without going through the requirements, were later found to be Covid positive, Sorongon said.
Some of the local cases have histories of going to cockfight derbies out of town while others attended parties, he said.
Sorongon added that the Bacolod City government has been implementing a lot of mitigating measures, from the executive orders issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia discouraging social gatherings that are considered as Covid “super spreaders.” Leonardia is also in constant meetings with various sectors, including the Church, the management of Business Process Outsourcing firms, and the business groups.
The city government also intensified the Oplan Sita and surveillance testing, especially among the police force, Persons Deprived of Liberty, and other sectors to arrest the further spread of the disease.
Sorongon said they are implementing the “swab-all” scheme to close contacts of Covid positive patients while the houses of those who were swabbed are locked down while the results of the swab tests have not yet been released.
He said the city opened additional quarantine facilities, like public schools and hotels.
Sorongon also said that the midway referral facility in Baranggay Alijis for those who are recuperating is now fully functional to lessen the number of patients in hospitals since home isolation is prohibited. As of 11 a.m. yesterday, Bacolod recorded only 28 new Covid cases.*