MANILA - Despite a notable increase in the number of recorded daily infections of COVID-19, Cebu province is under loser quarantine restrictions as the health care utilization rate in the area remains at low risk, a health official said Saturday.
Cebu, like most parts of the country, is under modified general community quarantine, the loosest of the 4 quarantine protocols set by the government to curb COVID-19 transmission.
While there was an increase in COVID-19 infections, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the health care utilization rate in the province— or the use of intensive care units, isolation beds and ventilators— remains "low."
"Hindi lang numero ng kaso ang tinitingnan natin kung hindi ‘yung health care utilization rate nila. Ngayon tumataas nga ang kaso ng Cebu. Mataas ng kanilang average daily attack rate. But if you look at their health care utilization rate this is still at "low risk." So ito po ang dahilan kung bakit hindi po natin sila shinift to a stricter level of quarantine," Vergeire said in a public press briefing.
(We don't just look at the numbers but also the health care utilization rate. Now, the COVID-19 cases in Cebu are increasing and they have a high average daily attack rate. But if you look at their health care utilization rate, this is still at low risk. So this is why we did not shift them to a stricter quarantine.)
The OCTA Research group, which regularly issues projections on the COVID-19 situation in the country, said Cebu Province "continued to have an increasing trend in new cases," averaging 147 new cases per day at one point.
Seven locations, including virus epicenter Metro Manila, remain under general community quarantine until the end of February, based on quarantine protocols set by the government on Friday.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country, including Cebu remain under modified GCQ. Some cities such as Tuguegarao in Cagayan and Passi in Iloilo, however, are currently under the more stringent enhanced community quarantine due to the rise in the number of cases.
OCTA had also sounded the alarm over the possibility that the more transmissible UK variant has already reached Cebu. But the DOH said it is still "too early" to come up with such conclusion.