Moreno: Even with ECQ status, Oro vax rollout still continues

By : Jigger Jerusalem Mindanao Today/10:42:19am 07/23/2021


(Note: This news article was published in the print edition of Mindanao Today on July 19, 2021)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Despite being put under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the local government of Cagayan de Oro will push through with its inoculation of residents who have already been categorized against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Mayor Oscar Moreno said Friday, July 16.

“Vaccination will still continue,” Moreno said during the daily press briefing on Covid-19 update.

He said the declaration of the ECQ will be reason enough for the city government to step up its vaccination rollout.

Moreno said the stricter community quarantine will prompt the city, “all the more we will intensify our vaccination.”

At present, vaccination of the elderly at the malls in Cagayan de Oro is ongoing, with the senior citizens availing of imported vaccines.

With the announcement that Cagayan de Oro, together with Gingoog City, was placed under ECQ, Moreno has appealed to the city residents not to give in to fear.

“Don’t panic. If we panic, that’s what the virus wants,” Moreno said during a daily press briefing on the city’s Covid-19 update Friday.

The mayor said the city needs to intensify its efforts, adding, “we need to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.”

The worst-case scenario, he said, is the city will experience a surge in Covid-19 cases.

“This delta can be very deadly, but we must not panic. We need to be control of ourselves so we can also control the virus. It is very important to remain vigilant,” Moreno said.

Moreno has also noted that Cagayan de Oro is faring much better than Davao City in terms of the critical care utilization rate, but the former was put under ECQ because of the cases with delta variant.

He said the national government has upgraded the city’s quarantine status to ECQ after it was found out that there were persons that were infected with the delta variant of the coronavirus.

According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the national interagency task force has put Cagayan de Oro under ECQ until July 31 as he noted that the city recorded at least five cases with the latest variant.

Dr. Teodulfo Joselito Retuya, the city epidemiologist, said local health officials have detected the delta variant on June 28 and that all the infected persons had already recovered from Covid-19.

Dr. Gina Itchon, medical officer at the state-run Northern Mindanao Medical Center, said it’s possible that the delta variant was transmitted through travelers who entered the city, although she did not rule out the possibility that the virus has mutated.

“[The delta variant] could be due to natural mutations. Mutation will happen no matter what we do,” Itchon said.

In a statement, the Department of Health said “six cases have been detected in Region 10 and are part of a large cluster of cases, with dates of onset between 23 to 28 June. All have been tagged as recovered.”

The DOH said it is in close coordination with the Centers of Health Development and Local Government Units to ensure that all cases have been or are appropriately traced and managed.

“The Bureau of Quarantine and the Department of Transportation are on high alert to implement strict border control measures,” the agency added.

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