The City Health Office on Thursday urged Dabawenyos to observe minimum health guidelines amid the increased COVID-19 cases recorded at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

CHO Officer-In-Charge Dr. Tomas Miguel Ababon, during the I-Speak Media forum on Thursday, said that the active cases recorded at the SPMC has reached 135.

Of the total number of cases, 50 are asymptomatic, 69 are mild, 15 are moderate, and one is considered critical.

Ababon said that for this year, an increase of COVID data was observed. There were 297 cases in January; 49 in February; 16 in March; 19 in April; 74 in May; and 111 cases in June.

Ababon said that active cases and cases recorded monthly differ because some active cases may have been accumulated from the prior month.

He said that most of these COVID cases involved individuals who went to a hospital or health facility.

“Most of the swabbing na nahitabo sa kadtong na admit, kasagaran ato kay kadtong unvaccinated, kadtong naay mga co-morbidities. When you say co-morbidities, kadto ning naay high blood, diabetes, kadtong naay sakit sa baga unya kadtong the old and the very young mao na ang vulnerable group nga pag masakit na nga grupo muadto sila og facility (Most of the swabbing are done for those who were admitted. Most of them are the unvaccinated and those who have co-morbidities such as high blood, diabetes, those who have respiratory illnesses, the old and the very young– they are the vulnerable group, those that once they get sick usually go to a health facility),” Ababon said.

He added that the CHO has not received any report confirming that the recorded cases were of the COVID-19 Flirt variant which, according to health authorities, has mild symptoms that can be managed if a healthy or a vaccinated adult gets the virus.

Regardless of the variant, Ababon said that their surveillance continues.

“Padayon ang atoang surveillance sa mga COVID-19 cases,” Ababon said.

Isolation, contract tracing and vaccination are no longer practiced by the CHO for a year now.

Ababon said if the number of cases continue to increase, the CHO establish temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

He, however, said there are no more vaccines available for COVID-19, following the Presidential proclamation terminating all activities involving COVID.

Bivalent vaccines were the last batch of the anti-COVID-19 vaccines.

Ababon said the Department of Health’s guidelines on observance of the minimum public health standards were retained as the measure to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

The public is advised to observe minimum health standards such as wearing of face masks, observance of social distancing, and hand washing and hand sanitizing.

“If you are feeling sick, stay home, wear a properly fitted mask and avoid crowded places,” Ababon said, adding that wearing of masks, although not mandatory, is strongly advised for the elderly and those with co-morbidities. CIO