BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The occupancy rate of Cadiz District Hospital, designated as a COVID-19 facility in Negros Occidental, rose to 62. 67 percent, according to Provincial Inter Agency Task Force action officer Rayfrando Diaz.
But Diaz said he noted that most of those who went for treatment to hospitals for other illnesses, not for COVID-19.
While majority of them are asymptomatic and experienced mild symptoms, he said they cannot conclude yet it its Omicron variant, unless there is a confirmation from the Philippine Genome Center.
He also reported that 21 health personnel of the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, Negros Occidental, are now being isolated because of COVID-19 after being infected by their patients.
This prompted Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to issue an order for the Provincial Health Office to distribute antigen test kits to the different district hospitals as a means to protect health care workers.
On the other hand, Lacson believes that the highly infectious Omicron variant has already reached the province, citing rapid increases of COVID-19 cases.
The Provincial Incident Management Team reported that Negros Occidental has 1,102 active cases as of January 17.
Because of the new surge, Lacson said the provincial government will again convert district hospitals into COVID-19 facilities and reopen quarantine facilities.
All those who have been tested positive through antigen tests will be immediately classified as COVID-19 positive, he stressed.
Two employees of the Negros Occidental provincial government were also added to the list of persons having been infected with COVID-19.
“This proves that there are many asymptomatic patients going around,” Diaz said.
Lacson also allowed the home quarantine of fully vaccinated individuals infected by the virus, which is already approved the national IATF.*