By Francis Allan L. Angelo
The number of new COVID-19 cases recorded daily in Iloilo City is indeed on a downward trend, but its health care utilization rate remains high due to admissions from other provinces in Panay.
This is based on the latest figures released by the Iloilo City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (ICESU) and Iloilo City COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center as of Feb 4, 2022.
As reported earlier, 406 new cases were reported on Jan. 27 which then tapered in succeeding days – Jan. 28 (366), Jan. 29 (289), Jan. 30 (158), Jan. 31 (207), Feb. 1 (203), Feb. 2 (196), Feb. 3 (152).
As of Feb 4, 12 p.m., the city reported 65 confirmed cases which included 26 new cases and 39 local transmissions. While it was not included in the city tally, 41 persons tested positive in the re-swab while 135 cases were traced to Iloilo province and 3 were reinfected.
The data also showed that from Feb 1-3, the city reported 384 cases of local transmission, 167 new cases, 9 cases among returning overseas Filipinos (ROF), 53 returning residents, and 10 authorized persons outside of residence (APOR).
The February surge is very pronounced based on the case comparison with January 2022.
On Jan 1, three cases were reported against 203 on Feb 1, or a 6,666.67 percent surge.
A 6,433.33 percent spike was noted between Jan 2 (3 cases) and Feb 2 (196 cases). Jan 3 saw 16 cases against 152 cases a month after or a 850 percent surge.
The first three days of January recorded 22 cases against 551 cases on Feb 1-3, or a 2,404.55 percent increase. The daily average last month was 7 cases a day against 184 a month before (2,404.55 percent variance).
Almost the same trend was noted if the first three days of February 2021 is compared with Feb 1-3, 2022 numbers. The average daily case last year was 12 against 184 a year later, or a 1,430.56 percent spike.
January 2022 reported 7,263 cases or an average of 184 cases daily. As of Feb 1-3, the city tallied 551 cases or 184 daily average.
The January 2022 tally overtook the 4,061 cases reported in September 2021.
Even if cases are now tapering, the city will have to lower its health care utilization rate if it wants to slide to a lower alert level that will allow more mobility and economic activity.
From a high of 72.39 percent HCUR on Jan 22, 2022, the city managed to lower it to 68 percent as of Feb 3.
Data would show that patients from Iloilo province accounted for 54.4 percent of COVID-19 admissions in Iloilo City hospitals. Patients from the city took up 36.7 percent of the admissions, while the rest were from Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Guimaras.
If broken down by internal care unit and ward/isolation, Iloilo province still accounted for more than 50 percent of admissions while Iloilo City accounted for 36 to 37 percent.
The Iloilo City and provincial governments have been urging residents to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to avoid severe and even fatal symptoms.
National officials even praised Iloilo City for achieving a 137.71 percent vaccination rate, based on data from the Department of Health-Center for Health Development 6.