Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella said Tuesday at least 95 percent of the 1,749 COVID-19 cases in the city do not show symptoms or asymptomatic.
“95 percent of our COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic, and we have found them using effective and extensive contact tracing,” Labella said in a forum the Department of Health hosted.
The Mayor also said that Cebu city’s contact tracers are grouped into eight teams composed of Department of Health (DOH) staff, barangay health workers, police officers, and city health department personnel.
“We finish contact tracing in 24 to 36 hours. In fact, more than 10,000 people [who were exposed to COVID-19 patients] have been tested with 35,000 RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test kits, while 8,000 others were tested with rapid-test kits,” he said.
DOH preferred RT-PCR test kits than rapid test kits because they give results with more excellent reliability.
A rapid test kit could detect whether a person has an active COVID-19 infection (IgM positive) or if he or she has recently recovered from the disease.
COVID-19 cases in Cebu city
“Of course, there are those who are scared to be tested, so our information drive is called Be a Hero. Because having yourself tested is not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of people whom you love and care about. You will be a hero to them,” Labella said.
Labella also assured Cebu city residents that the city government has enough quarantine facilities for virus-infected patients. The city’s quarantine facilities have 3,638 beds.
“Our mortality rate is at .091% because we were immediately able to isolate the 95% who are asymptomatic to our barangay isolation centers,” Labella said.
Cebu City, along with Metro Manila, Laguna, and other areas in Central Luzon, remain under the modified enhanced community quarantine until May 31.
The government has so far tested 207,823 individuals, which is only 0.19 percent of the total population.
The target is to test 1.5 to 2 percent or equivalent to 1,650,000 to 2,200,000 Filipinos needed to be tested, given the country’s population is about 110 million.
As of May 18, the Philippines has recorded 12, 718 confirmed cases, 831 deaths, and 2, 729 recoveries.