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Rising deaths alarm Cimatu

Rico Osmeña



One of Cebu City's hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases. (Photo by Rico Osmena)

COVID-19 Task Force Cebu overseer and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu on Monday expressed alarm over increasing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths in Cebu City.

The statement was made during his arrival and meeting with members of the Cebu City Council led by Vice Mayor Michael Rama.

Based on data released by the Department of Health Region 7 tracker, Cebu City has 226 deaths as of 5 July 2020 while the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD)  recorded 221 deaths.

The case fatality ratio in Cebu City, based on CCHD data, was at 1.08 percent on 15 June and 2.20 percent on 24 June. By 30 June, it increased to 3.07 percent and to 3.67 percent on 4 July.

Cebu City’s fatality rate is now higher than the national rate of 3.08 percent and World Health Organization’s at one percent.

North District City Councilor Nestor Archival, in a separate interview by The Daily Tribune, expressed concern on the rising COVID-19 deaths.

“This is one of the biggest issues or concerns in our City, the reported Covid deaths. Our data for the deaths only reflects the results from Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center but deaths in other hospitals are not recorded,” Archival said.

Citing the death of Pardo Poblacion barangay captain Litang Abarquez and her partner, Archival said there is no clear protocols in handling cases down to the barangays.

During the meeting, Cimatu suggested that members of the City Council be tasked to become overseer among 4-5 clustered barangays against COVID-19.

” You, the members of City Council have to portray the role of overseeing or supervising a cluster of 4-5 barangays,” Cimatu said.

There are 19 members of the Cebu City Council including Vice Mayor Rama with 80 barangays in the city.

The City Council has been complaining that Mayor Edgardo Labella has no clear plans set against Covid-19.

Rama insisted they are only needed during times when Labella would request for the approval of budget.

He added that there is no coordination and cooperation between Labella and the legislative department.

p: wjg