DOH assures close monitoring of Sitio Zapatera in Cebu, says majority of 135 COVID-19 cases in their 50s

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2020 07:59 PM

MANILA — Enough health workers are being allotted for Cebu City's Sitio Zapatera, a hotspot of the COVID-19 outbreak in Central Visayas, the Philippine health department said Monday.

“Ang kagawaran, sa tulong ng ating Center for Health Development 7, ay nakikipag-partner sa ating local government sa ating city para masigurong namo-monitor ang lugar at meron tayong sapat na paraang makakuha ng specimen mula sa mga residente,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing.

(The department, with the help of the Center for Health Development Central Visayas, is partnering with the local government in the city to ensure that the place is being monitored and that we are able to get specimen from the residents.)

“Ang ating health care workers ay sinisiguro nating ligtas at may sapat na bilang sa pagtugon sa ating COVID-19 patients,” she added.

(We’re ensuring the safety of our health care workers and that there are enough of them to respond to our COVID-19 patients.)

Vergeire said it was on April 7 when one of the residents tested positive for COVID-19. After it was immediately reported, five groups from the Cebu City health office did contact tracing in Sitio Zapatera.

“Maliban sa contact tracing ay nanguha na rin ng specimen samples para mai-test gamit ang RT-PCR,” she said, referring to a laboratory process that determines if a person has COVID-19.

(Besides contact tracing, they also took specimen samples to be processed using RT-PCR.)

Vergeire said that of the sitio's 9,000 residentso, 135 have tested positive, as of Sunday.

“Karamihan po sa kanila ay edad 51 hanggang 60 years old, at walang history of travel kasama ang isang taong exposed sa COVID-19,” she said.

(Most of them are between the ages 51 to 60, and have no history of travel or exposure to a person with COVID-19.)

Of the 135, 55 percent are women, she said. The youngest patient is 8 months old, and the oldest is 79 years old.

Vergeire said that the other residents are being monitored and vehicles are allotted in case a patient from the sitio must be brought to a community quarantine facility.

An outpost outside the community was also set-up as “medical and security centers.”

The number of cases in Sitio Zapatera account for most of the COVID-19 cases in the whole of the Central Visayas region. As of 5 p.m. on Monday, the region has logged 191 cases, with nine fatalities.


Countrywide, the cumulative tally of COVID-19 cases has reached 6,459 on Monday, including 613 patients who have recovered and 428 who died.