Restrictions escalated anew as rising infections smash COVID-19 records


Cebu City as viewed from Barangay Labangon. (Ventures Cebu)


The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases placed Cebu City, Mandaue City and 26 other areas under Alert Level 3 for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for Jan. 14 to 31, 2022.


Lapu-Lapu City, which was placed under Alert Level 3 subject to the allocation of COVID-19 beds from Jan. 9 to 15, will also retain its quarantine classification until the end of the month.


Cebu Province, on the other hand, remains under Alert Level 2.


Areas placed under Alert Level 3 are those with high and/or increasing COVID-19 case counts as well as rising bed and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates.


Active infections breach 1,000 in Cebu City

Based on the daily case bulletin issued by the Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas Center for Health Development Wednesday night, Jan. 12, 2022, the active COVID-19 cases in Cebu City have again breached 1,000.


Within just 12 days, active COVID-19 cases in Cebu City increased sharply to 1,001, more than 11 times the 87 active cases on Jan. 1.


From only two new infections on Jan. 1, there were 223 new cases on Jan. 12.


A total of 920 new infections were confirmed in 12 days from Jan. 1 to 12, more than 21 times the 43 cases reported for the entire month of December 2021.


Of the 31 days in December, 10 days had zero cases.


On a weekly basis, new infections averaged 120 a day in the recent seven days from Jan. 6 to 12, 2022, around 10 times the daily average of 11 new cases in the previous seven-day period from Dec. 30, 2021 to Jan. 5, 2022.


Cases rising in Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Province, too


Lapu-Lapu City recorded only 10 new infections in the entire month of December 2021. The DOH Central Visayas case bulletins showed there were zero cases in Lapu-Lapu for 24 days in December.

From zero, new infections spiked to 62 on Jan. 12. Active cases as of Jan. 12 reached 202.


A total of 198 new infections were reported from Jan. 1 to 12, nearly 20 times the 10 cases for the entire month of December 2021.


In Mandaue City, the DOH Central Visayas reported a total of 174 new cases from Jan. 1 to 12, almost 11 times the 16 cases recorded for the entire month of December 2021.

Zero cases were reported for 18 days in December and in the first three days of January.


Active cases in Mandaue as of Jan. 12 reached 176, including the 33 new infections Wednesday.


In Cebu Province (excluding the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu), new cases in the first 12 days of the year increased to 355, more than six times the 56 infections in the entire month of December 2021.


New cases breached 100 on Jan. 12, with the DOH Central Visayas reported 125 new infections.


As of Jan. 12, there were 518 active COVID-19 cases in the province.


Philippines shatters record in daily infections


Nationwide, new record highs are being reported daily as the country’s epidemic curve abruptly went vertical. Cases ballooned to an all-time high of 33,169 on Jan. 10 and indications point to a continued surge.


In the first 12 days of the year, Jan. 1 to 12, the DOH case bulletins showed a total of 216,136 new infections, or an average of 18,011 a day. These are about 50 times the 11,245 cases (daily average of 362) confirmed in the entire month of December 2021.


It took only five days for daily infections to breach 10,000 after the DOH confirmed the first three COVID-19 cases with the highly contagious Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. During the mid-2021 surge caused by the Delta variant, daily infections exceeded 10,000 on Aug. 6, about three months after the first Delta case in the country was confirmed in May.


The case doubling rate of two to three days and the corresponding rise in hospitalizations in the last 12 days have prompted government officials to institute policy changes — shortened quarantine period for fully vaccinated health care workers; home isolation for asymptomatic, mild and moderate cases; and home quarantine for close contacts of probable, suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases.


The IATF, through Resolution 156-C, also elevated the following provinces and cities to Alert Level 3 from Jan. 14 to 31.


Luzon

  • Benguet, Kalinga and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region;

  • La Union, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan in Ilocos (Region 1);

  • Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Quirino in Cagayan Valley (Region 2);

  • Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in Central Luzon (Region 3);

  • Quezon Province in CALABARZON (Region 4-A); Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro in MIMAROPA (Region 4-B); and

  • Camarines Sur and Albay in Bicol (Region 5).


Visayas

  • Bacolod City, Aklan, Capiz and Antique in Western Visayas (Region 6);

  • Cebu City and Mandaue City in Central Visayas (Region 7); and

  • Tacloban City in Eastern Visayas (Region 8).


Mindanao

  • Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao (Region 10);

  • Davao City in Davao (Region 11);

  • Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in CARAGA; and

  • Cotabato City in BARMM.


Earlier, the IATF also elevated the following areas to Alert Level 3: Baguio City, Dagupan City, City of Santiago, Cagayan, Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Zambales, Batangas and Lucena City, Naga City; Iloilo City, Lapu-Lapu City,


The IATF had placed the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna under Alert Level 3.


As of Jan. 12, active cases nationwide increased to a new record high of 208,164, breaking the previous record of 203,710 on April 17, 2021. (MTVI/Ventures Cebu)

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