Tacloban cases going down
TACLOBAN CITY — New cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are recorded daily here, but they are on the decline.
Data from the City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (CESU) showed that from a high of 339 active cases on 8 September, the number is down to 195 cases as of 21 September, a reduction of 42.5 percent in a span of two weeks.
The city has a total of 695 cases with 490 recoveries and 10 deaths. Majority of the infected are females between 20 to 29 years old.
Mayor Alfred Romualdez credits the development to the use of hotels as isolation facilities, use of QR (Quick Response) codes by people entering the city and barangay officials who are allowed to implement their own protocols depending on the situation of their communities.
They have to register but if the numbers swell, we will just regulate the entry, not stop it altogether.
Tacloban’s digital COVID-19 surveillance activities, contact tracing, analysis and networking system requires permanent and temporary residents, transients and tourists to get a QR code for effective monitoring, especially those who came from places on lockdown.
“You will not be allowed entry into any establishment if you do not have a QR code. If you’re an LSI (locally stranded individual) or you came from a place that is under ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), the device’s alarm will go off and you cannot enter the establishment,” Romualdez said.
There were previous reports of medical staff and drivers who loiter around malls after bringing in COVID-19 patients to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center from other local government units in the region.
But being the regional center where major hospitals and financial establishments are found, Tacloban cannot impose a strict restriction on its borders.
“I welcome all those who have to go to Tacloban, especially for humanitarian reasons. That’s why we came up with a better system so as not to spread the virus. I don’t want to make it difficult for the public but we have to address these issues immediately to make our protocols more effective,” he said.
Romualdez said despite the surge in the number of cases during the last week of August up to early September, he will continue allowing the return of LSI.
“They have to register but if the numbers swell, we will just regulate the entry, not stop it altogether,” he said.
TACLOBAN City credits strict quarantine measures and contact tracing for declining COVID-19 cases.