DOC’S ESTIMATE: COVID-19 cases in Bacolod could reach more than 3,000

(Dr. Julius Drilon PIA photo)

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) here could peak at more than 3,000 cases by the third week of April.

This was the analysis of Dr. Julius Drilon, head of the Dona  Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital ( DCLMMRH), during the meeting of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID -19 Friday.

In his presentation, Drilon said estimated cases in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental might reach 3,358 with five percent critical, or 168 cases needing critical care.

“We will not lose anything if we prepare for the worst case scenario in our fight against the corona virus disease 2019 ( COVID-19),” said Bacolod Congressman Greg Gasataya after he attended the meeting of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID -19.

Dr. Julius Drilon, head of the Dona Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (DCLMMRH), presented his analysis showing COVID -19 may reach its peak in the province and the city of Bacolod by the 3rd week of April.

Drilon pushed for the establishment of a Bacolod Bio Safety Laboratory for Corona Virus Facility and massive testing of Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) as soon as possible.

PUIs are persons with signs and symptoms and have travel history to infected areas or exposure to positive cases.

Bacolod City lone district Rep. Greg Gasataya said without massive testing, the Enhanced Community Quarantine will be extended and will have dire economic impact.

Testing is cheaper and logical, Gasataya said.

Gasataya also said about 500 swabs or Ultra Transparent Mediums (UTMs) were expected to arrive Friday.

“We continue to coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) for more UTMs. We do not have enough, that is the reality,” he said

Dr. Drilon suggested stockpiling of test kits as tests must be conducted not only on PUIs but also on health care workers who were exposed to COVID-19 positive patients as well as the families and relatives of the patients who were identified through contact tracing.

“The more test to be conducted, the more beneficial it will be for everybody,” Gasataya said.

Drilon also assured that DCLMMRH can do their job as long as they have the needed PPEs and medical equipment.

DCLMMRH has 300 health personnel who underwent training on how to handle infectious diseases.

Gasataya also said it was agreed that DCLMMRH will become the referral center for COVID-19 patients.

He explained that patients who are suffering from other ailments will be transferred to the district hospitals with the help of the provincial government.

Records from the provincial government showed that there are 70 PUIs in Negros Occidental with 36 scheduled for testing.

Meanwhile, Bacolod City has 34 PUIs.

For Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs), Negros Occidental has 8,113 while Bacolod City has 2,331.

PUM is a person who has no signs and symptoms of COVID-19 but has travel history to infected areas and may have been exposed to infected persons.



Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the death of a 62-year-old woman who tested positive for COVID -19 “reminds us all of the seriousness of the problem we are facing.”

The patient expired March 31, a day before her confirmatory test for COVID-19 was released by the DOH Biolab in Iloilo.

The City Health Office (CHO) received the result on April 1. She was among the six confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city.

The fatality travelled to Manila and had contact with her 40-year-old son, who is also COVID-19 positive and now confined in a hospital in Bacolod.

The fatality, who was also confined in a local hospital here on March 27, had fever, body malaise, and suffered from loss of appetite.  She had cardiac problems and diabetes prior to contracting the virus.