MANILA - Recent COVID-19 infections in Tacloban City were mostly on health workers, some of whom were already fully vaccinated against the virus, the city mayor said on Wednesday.
"What we also noticed, kaya nag-spread ito ng mabilis dahil last week, immediately, ang mga nahahawahan dito more than 100 health care workers, frontliners," Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(We noticed a faster spread of COVID-19 here last week because those who got infected were more than 100 health workers)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said building immunity against COVID-19 "typically takes a few weeks."
Johns Hopkins, America's premiere research university said COVID-19 vaccines do not totally block the virus but definitely "prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death."
Romualdez urged those who got vaccinated against COVID-19, most especially health frontliners, to rest and stay in their homes for at least a week, so they would not catch the virus.
He also added that majority who got infected were asymptomatic of the respiratory disease, and their cases were not fatal.
"Pag nag-second dose ka at may side effect, you have to rest for at least 1 week, because paglabas nila doon, natatamaan sila," he said.
"Kaya ang nangyari dito nagulat kami, 99 percent of the health workers nabakunahan na, in fact, yung mga nagpositive, nabakunahan, in fact dalawang dosage pa nga eh. Tapos na," he explained.
(If you receive the 2nd dose and you experience side effects, you have to rest for at least a week. Some people who got vaccinated here went out already, thus catching the virus. We were shocked, since 99 percent of our health workers were already vaccinated and already got 2 doses.)
Aside from this, he also blamed the rise of infections there due to the location of the city, which is surrounded by several provinces in Eastern Visayas, and the lack of medical facilities.
Some of the region's major hospitals, he pointed out, are in Tacloban City.
"Tacloban is a capital city and we are surrounded by 6 provinces, and may mga probinsya kasi dito, provinces on Samar... they do not have enough facilities, ang nangyayari pag tumataas ang kaso sa mga probinsya na yan, dito talaga ang takbuhan sa Tacloban," he said.
(The provinces here do not have enough medical facilities, that's why when cases increase in the provinces, they go here in Tacloban)
Despite this, cases in the city are on a downtrend.
Tacloban is under modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of June.
The city has vaccinated about 15,300 people and almost 9,000 of them have completed 2 vaccine doses, the mayor earlier said.
The health department on Tuesday raised the alarm on the rising COVID-19 cases outside Metro Manila, particularly in the Visayas, which already outpaced Luzon and Mindanao as the island group in terms of virus growth.
Philippines has so far tallied 1.327 million COVID-19 infections, 58,000 cases of which are still active.
The virus has killed nearly 23,000 as of Tuesday.