W. Visayas’ COVID numbers continue to decline but…

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The number of new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Western Visayas continued to decline in the past weeks, but recent data by the Department of Health-Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-WV CHD) show that the March average is still higher than that of December 2021.

DOH-WV CHD data as of March 27, 2022 indicated that the region logged 183,054 COVID-19 cases (2,652 active, 174,835 recovered, and 5,477 dead).

The running daily average of new COVID cases is 51 per day, which would be the second-lowest average in the past 6 months.

The lowest daily average was in December 2021 at 26 cases per day. The highest average was in January 2021 at 828 cases.

But Region 6 remains under the “Minimal Risk” classification after recording only 569 cases from March 11 to 24, lower than 916 cases on Feb. 25 to March 10.

Only the city and province of Iloilo are under Low Risk, with the rest of the region (Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, and Bacolod City) under Minimal Risk.

The current figures represent a 38 percent decline in cases comparing the two periods, and an average of 0.51 cases per day per 100,000 people in the region in the most recent data.

The highest percentage decline in new cases recently was recorded in Capiz (-77 percent), followed by Antique (-63 percent), Guimaras (-54 percent), Iloilo (-53 percent), Aklan (-40 percent), Negros Occidental (-32 percent), Iloilo province (-20 percent), and Bacolod City (-18 percent).

As to the daily averages per 100,000 people, only the city (1.32) and province (1.03) of Iloilo are above 1, which signified their Low-Risk status, while the others are below that threshold, including in Guimaras (0.79), Bacolod City (0.48), Antique (0.26), Aklan and Negros Occidental (0.17 each), and Capiz (0.15).

The use of health care resources such as beds and mechanical ventilators dedicated to COVID in the region has also been minimal at only 24.44 percent.

Iloilo City as the regional center has the highest utilization rate of healthcare resources for COVID (43.62 percent), followed by Iloilo province (31.40 percent), Guimaras (20.69 percent), Bacolod City (16.72 percent), Capiz (14.63 percent), Negros Occidental (13.10 percent), Antique (4.10 percent), and Aklan (1.53 percent).