W. Visayas’ COVID positivity rate eases

(Photo courtesy of Arnold Almacen/CMO)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The downtrend in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Region 6 continues as of last week.

Latest data from the Department of Health-Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-WV CHD) indicated that while testing figures remain, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 are now lower.

Region 6 only detected 358 new cases on March 6 to 12, or a 3 percent positivity rate out of 11,010 individuals tested during the same period.

This indicates a downtrend in the region’s overall positivity rate from 5 percent (Feb. 27 to March 5), and 12 percent (Feb. 20 to 26 and Feb. 13 to 19).

The most recent number of people tested (11,010) is also even higher than in the last two-week periods (10,869 on Feb. 27 to March 5; and 10,520 on Feb. 20 to 26).

Guimaras currently has the highest positivity rate (8.33 percent), followed by Antique (6.76 percent), Capiz (4.81 percent), Iloilo province (3.84 percent), Iloilo City (2.68 percent), Bacolod City (2.38 percent), Negros Occidental (1.58 percent), and Aklan (1.47 percent).

DOH-WV CHD spokesperson John Richard Lapascua said the data reflects the region’s general status as “Low Risk” to COVID-19.

“We have seen that the positivity rate [in Western Visayas] has gone down. In a four-week period, the number of people tested is the same, but the number of people testing positive has gone down,” Lapascua said in an online briefing.

Western Visayas is under Minimal Risk for COVID-19, except for Guimaras and the city and province of Iloilo, which are under Low Risk.

The number of new cases logged and validated by the DOH-WV CHD declined by 56 percent, from 2,076 new cases (Feb. 11 to 24) to 909 (Feb. 25 to Mar. 10).

The highest decline was recorded in Negros Occidental (-65 percent), followed by Bacolod City (-60 percent), Iloilo province (-59 percent), Iloilo City (-54 percent), Guimaras and Aklan (-53 percent each), Antique (-43 percent), and Capiz (-36 percent).

New cases per 100,000 people in the region are also minimal level at 0.81, with only three areas (Iloilo City at 2.82; Guimaras at 1.70; and Iloilo province at 1.29) at levels higher than 1.

They are followed by Antique (0.71), Capiz (0.60), Bacolod City (0.59), Aklan (0.27), and Negros Occidental (0.25).

Utilization rate of healthcare resources in the region, including beds and mechanical ventilators, also decreased by 23.66 percent.

Iloilo City still has the highest utilization rate (37.11 percent), followed by Iloilo province (32.84 percent), Guimaras (25.86 percent), Bacolod City (18.35 percent), Capiz (12.50 percent), Negros Occidental (11.35 percent), Antique (3.59 percent), and Aklan (2.92 percent).

Based on DOH-WV CHD data as of March 13, Western Visayas has recorded a total of 182,515 COVID cases (2,960 active, 174,147 recoveries, and 5,325 deaths).