THE entire Cebu Island, composed of Cebu province and its metropolitan area comprised of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, has bucked the national trend after it maintained its low-risk case classification, according to OCTA Research.
In its Covid-19 bulletin issued on Wednesday, OCTA said that despite the plateau in the number of new cases to an average of 40 new cases over the past week, its average daily attack rate or the level of cases relative to its population remained very low and 0.77.
This means that the number of cases per day per 100,000 population is less than 1 as of September 27, while the reproduction number is at 0.99.
The entire island’s daily average cases last peaked on July 31, which reported more than 200 cases per day at that time, while its positivity rate in the island was at five percent, the recommended positivity rate of the World Health Organization that signifies infection control over a particular locality.
“The low positivity rate confirms that infections have decreased to low levels in Cebu,” OCTA said.
The health care utilization rate on the island remained at low risk with 27 percent of its dedicated Covid-19 beds and 12 percent of its intensive care unit beds occupied.
According to OCTA founder Ranjit Rye, the numbers in Cebu are “surprising” for them considering that it is bucking the national trend of increased Covid-19 cases, especially in the National Capital Region, where the reproduction number and the positivity rate remain high.
He hopes, however, that the DoH should already set triggers or conditions to guide citizens when to wear masks outdoors, while also reminding the public to continue following the health protocols and get themselves boosted as soon as possible.
“For OCTA’s part, while mask mandates for the outdoors have been lifted, we exhort the public, especially in the NCR, to continue wearing masks outdoors as the positivity rate continues to be high,” Rye said in a message to reporters.
Cebu Island, specifically the province of Cebu and Cebu City, was the first to introduce measures to lift the use of masks in outdoor spaces before the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued an order mandating the lifting of the optional mask mandate in outdoor settings nationwide.