Pointing out that the COVID-19 attack rate in Bacolod City is declining the last two weeks of October, Mayor Evelio Leonardia has requested Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to downgrade the city’s status to Alert Level 3 from Nov. 1-14.
Leonardia made the appeal Oct. 29 to Duque, chair of the National Inter-Agency Task Force, immediately after Bacolod City was placed under Alert Level 4 by the NIATF.
Under the new COVID-19 Alert Level System, Alert Level 4 refers to areas, where case counts are high and/or increasing with hospital bed utilization and intensive care unit utilization rates are high.
Based on the Oct. 28 COVID Situational Report of the Department of Health in Region 6, however, Leonardia cited the DOH data showing that the growth in cases has been decreasing for the past two consecutive weeks.
The mayor added that a minus-39 percentage change in growth rate was noted with the average daily attack rate also down from 21.62 percent in the previous three to four weeks of October to just 13.24 percent in the recent two weeks of the same month.
Leonardia also informed Duque that the current health care capacity utilization in all tertiary private and DOH regional hospitals here is only 69 percent, half of which is from Bacolod City, while the rest are COVID patients from other local government units in the Province of Negros Occidental.
“It is no surprise, therefore, that since cases are also high in the province, patients are being brought to Bacolod hospitals for treatment,” he said.
ICU utilization rate, he continued, is 55.56 percent, and this includes patients from other LGUs too.
Leonardia further pointed out that isolation facility accommodation in Bacolod City also posted a significant decrease by as much as 19.66 percent.
Bacolod City has 23,361 accumulated COVID cases and 21,660 or, 92.72’percent, have since recovered. Real-time data showed that there are only 954 active cases left.
The figures clearly correlate to good management and treatment of COVID-19 cases. COVID-related deaths also dropped by 55 percent from last month, he said.
“This decline in numbers is the result of our relentless effort in intensified implementation of the PDITR Strategy as well as our innovations and initiatives in ramping up our vaccination campaign,” said Leonardia.
“We are also continuously working to expand and capacitate our temporary treatment and monitoring facilities. We established a 64-bed Midway Referral Facility that serves as a step-up facility for patients waiting to be admitted in hospitals,” Leonardia’s letter to Duque said.
Leonardia expressed confidence that by ramping up the vaccination program, the city government expects cases to even decrease significantly in the proceeding weeks.
Based on DOH Region 6 data, Leonardia said, Bacolod has the second highest percentage of fully vaccinated population in Western Visayas with 42.28 percent.
About 12 percent of Bacolodnons were also partially vaccinated as of Oct. 29, he added.
The percentage is even higher based on our real-time report which is at 61 percent of our population, having already received at least one dose, Leonardia explained.