By Joseph B.A. Marzan
The latest situationer by the Department of Health-Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-WV CHD) showed that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the city and province of Iloilo as well as in Guimaras are swelling.
DOH-WV CHD data as of August 20, 2021 indicated that Iloilo City, Iloilo province, and Guimaras are at High Risk for COVID-19 based on their 2-Week Growth Rate (2WGR) and Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR).
The 2WGR is the percentage rate in the growth of COVID-19 cases, while the ADAR refers to the average number of cases per day per 100,000 population of an area. Both are measured over a 14-day period.
Iloilo province posted the biggest consistent increase in new COVID-19 cases from July 7 to 20 (2,041), July 21 to August 3 (2,080), and August 4 to 17 (2,525), resulting in the current 2WGR of 21 percent.
Iloilo City initially posted a downtrend in new cases on July 7 to 20 (1,305) and July 21 to August 3 (1,025) before swinging up on August 4 to 17 (1,109), bringing its current 2WGR to 8 percent.
As to the ADAR, Iloilo province also showed continuous increase, with 7.25 cases per 100,000 based on new cases from July 21 to August 3. It then went up to 8.80 cases based on new cases from August 4 to 17.
Clustering of COVID-19 cases was also recorded in Oton (223), Santa Barbara (172), Passi City (154), Lambunao (142), Pavia (132), San Joaquin (108), San Miguel (101), Pototan (96), Guimbal (95), Miag-ao (82), Zarraga (72), Leon (59), Janiuay (58), Alimodian (53), and Dumangas (46).
Iloilo City’s ADAR also increased from 15.44 cases (July 21 to August 3) to 16.70 cases (August 4 to 17).
Clustering was identified in Jaro (367), Mandurriao (195), and La Paz (120) districts, with high concentration in the Jaro barangays of Balabago (60), Sambag (33), Cubay (22), and Our Lady of Lourdes and Quintin Salas (21 each).
The regional office’s designated spokesperson, National Immunization Program coordinator Dr. Daphynie Teorima, said the rise in cases in Iloilo City are likely caused by its proximity to Iloilo province, which has been posting a surge in previous weeks as well.
Guimaras, a close neighbor to the city and province, also showed a similar surge, placing the island province under the High-Risk column.
Like Iloilo City, new cases in the island province plunged from 116 cases on July 7 to 20 to 100 on July 21 to August 3, before surging to 286 on August 4 to 17 (286). The island’s current 2WGR is 186 percent.
Its ADAR also climbed drastically, from 3.86 cases per 100,000 daily (July 21 to August 3) to 11.03 cases (August 4 to 17).
Clustering was recorded in all five municipalities of Guimaras, with Nueva Valencia logging the highest (154), followed by Jordan (58), Buenavista (52), and San Lorenzo and Sibunag (11 each).
The Health Care Utilization Rates (HCUR) – which refers to the number of COVID-dedicated beds and mechanical ventilators – of Iloilo City, Iloilo province, and Guimaras are also the highest in the region.
While the region overall is considered at Low Risk (59.70 percent), Iloilo City (72.47 percent), Iloilo province (71.10 percent), and Guimaras (77.42 percent), are all at High Risk in terms of HCUR.
As to the presence of variants of concern (VOC) and of interest (VOI), Iloilo province has the most in the region with 95 cases as of August 18, which included 32 Alpha (B.1.1.7), 43 Beta (B.1.351), 6 Theta (P.3), 13 Delta (B.1.617.2), and 1 Gamma (P.1) cases.
Iloilo City has 26 VOC or VOI cases as of August 18 – 9 Alpha, 8 Beta, 4 Theta, and 6 Delta cases.
Guimaras has 15 VOC or VOI cases – 9 Alpha, 5 Beta, and 1 Theta case.
With their high ADARs, 2WGRs, and HCURs, as well as Delta variants in Iloilo City and Iloilo province, the three areas are all on Alert Level 4 for COVID-19.
REST OF THE REGION
Western Visayas has logged 98,173 confirmed cases as of August 22, with 10,935 active cases (11.13 percent), 84,863 recoveries (86.44 percent), and 2,351 deaths (2.39 percent).
From August 14 to August 20, according to Teorima, the region reported an average of 660 new COVID cases per day, with 527 recoveries daily.
Antique is still at High Risk for COVID based on its ADAR and 2WGR, while Aklan and Capiz are at Moderate, and Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are at Low Risk.
For the 2WGR (excluding Iloilo City, province, and Guimaras), Antique currently has the next highest 2WGR in the last 1 to 2 weeks (5 percent), followed by Capiz (4 percent), Negros Occidental (-10 percent), Bacolod City (-12 percent), and Aklan (-52 percent).
As to the ADAR, Aklan has seen a decrease in the last 1 to 2 weeks but remains on High (14.61), followed by Antique (8.91), Bacolod City (5.99), Capiz (4.87), and Negros Occidental (1.60).
All of the remaining 4 provinces and 1 highly-urbanized city are at Low Risk for their HCUR, with Capiz the highest among them (57.62 percent), followed by Antique (55.49 percent), Negros Occidental and Bacolod City (42.43 percent each), and Aklan (41.28 percent).
Out of these five areas, Antique has the highest number of VOC or VOI cases with 65 (35 Alpha, 5 Beta, 2 Theta, and 23 Delta), followed by Negros Occidental with 33 (11 Alpha, 14 Beta, 5 Theta, 2 Delta, and 1 Lambda), Bacolod City with 21 (1 Alpha, 3 Beta, 13 Theta, and 4 Delta), Capiz with 18 (1 Alpha, 12 Beta, and 4 Delta), and Aklan with 8 (1 Alpha, 4 Beta, and 3 Theta).
As to their Alert Levels, Aklan, Antique and Capiz are at Alert Level 3, Bacolod City is in Level 2, and Negros Occidental is at Level 1.