SPECIAL REPORT: Is the curve flattening? A look at the numbers after two weeks of ECQ in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental

Part 1: What the numbers say

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By Julius D. Mariveles and Hannah A. Papasin

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Two weeks after the Enhanced Community Quarantine went up over here and the province, are the cases related to COVID19 flattening?

Amber Avenue: An amber hue is cast by the setting sun over a highway in Cabug village, Bacolod City that is now on its second phase of an Enhanced Community Quarantine. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles
Amber Avenue: An amber hue is cast by the setting sun over a highway in Cabug village, Bacolod City that is now on its second phase of an Enhanced Community Quarantine. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

Also, on 15 April (last Wednesday), Gov. Eugenio Lacson announced modifications to Executive Order 20-20, which outlined the details of the ECQ.

Among the major changes are the partial and regulated return of public transportation – covering only tricycles and trisikads with limited number of passengers, only three and one, respectively.

Construction and manufacturing works will also resume, Lacson ordered while a 24-hour curfew for children and senior citizens is up to mayors to implement.

In this special report, DNX takes a look at important aspects in the fight against COVID19. These aspects – policies, facilities preparations, and mass testing were identified during discussions and consultations with health experts and officials we talked to during the research phase of this report.

Life amid COVID. A young boy climbs a tree as he plays with fellow youngsters in a suburban village in Bacolod City. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles
Life amid COVID. A young boy climbs a tree as he plays with fellow youngsters in a suburban village in Bacolod City. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

DNX analyzed COVID19-related cases using data from the inter-agency task force of the city and the Incident Management Team of the province.

The classification of cases was based on the old naming protocol of the Department of Health that defined the following categories: Persons Under Investigation, Persons Under Monitoring and Confirmed Cases.

The Department of Health eventually changed the naming protocol in an advisory first published 11 April on its official Facebook page.

The new naming protocol has been changed to suspect, probable and confirmed. (READ: DOH new classification for COVID-19)

The summary of significant findings and observations are as follows:

Processed data from the Inter-Agency Task Force Operations Center reveal that on March 29, a day before the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, the province had 16,355 Persons Under Monitoring from all LGUs under it (excluding Bacolod), with 188 Persons Under Investigation (PUIS).

Summary of PUIs in Negros Occidental from March 28 - April 14, 2020.
Summary of PUIs in Negros Occidental from March 28 – April 14, 2020.

A week into the ECQ, the provincial numbers have been slashed by 64.5 percent – from 16,355 to 4,851. This further went down to 453, or a drop of 97.2 percent since the ECQ started.

For the PUIs, numbers saw a drop of 80.85 percent (from 188 on March 29, to 36 on 8 March) within seven days of implementing the ECQ.

This further dropped by 89.36 percent (from 188 to 20) percent after two weeks.

There are no additional confirmed COVID19 cases in both the province (since 5 April) and Bacolod (3 April). The last confirmed case in Bacolod, Patient 7, was on 3 April;

The number of confirmed or positive cases went down in both the province and the city during the ECQ period;

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental from March 27 - April 12, 2020.
Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental from March 27 – April 12, 2020.

The number of PUMs (1,213) all over the province on the last reporting day before the ECQ extension (14 April) is greater than the number of PUIs (23);

The number of PUMs in the province started at 13,673 on 27 March, three days before Phase One of the ECQ started, and had been steadily going down by 2,682 cases since 29 March, registering slight upticks on two days, 31 March and 3 April before sliding down to 453 on the last reporting day;

Summary of PUMs in Negros Occidental from March 27 - April 14, 2020.
Summary of PUMs in Negros Occidental from March 27 – April 14, 2020.

There are only 20 remaining PUIs in Negros Occidental as of 14 April with four cases each in the towns of La Castellana and Calatrava; three in the city of San Carlos, and two each EB Magalona and Valladolid.

In terms of PUMs as of 2 April (early days of the ECQ) Cadiz City has the highest 1269, followed by Sagay (1173), then Kabankalan, (1156), Escalante (989), and Sipalay (595).

Two weeks later, the LGUs with the highest number of PUMs are: Cadiz (58), followed by Escalante (56), Calatrava (33), Toboso (32), and Kabankalan (31). For other towns and cities, see Figure 3.

Figure 3

Five towns now have zero PUMs. These are Binalbagan, Candoni, Cauayan, Isabela, and Valladolid. Based on the IMT data, DNX has observed that four of the areas in the top five – Escalante, and Cadiz cities, and Toboso, and Calatrava towns — are in northern Negros Occidental.

BACOLOD NUMBERS

The Bacolod City Health Office, meanwhile, has started its monitoring since 2 February, 2020. To make data comparison consistent, DNX used as baseline data the numbers that were given a day before the ECQ took place.

The CHO, unlike the province, keeps a running tally of the PUIs and PUMs since start of monitoring last February 2.

29 March numbers revealed that there were 31 PUIs since the start of monitoring. Of the number, nine were currently admitted, and 21 had already been discharged. Three new cases were recorded that day, and no new deaths.

The number of admitted PUIs has also dropped steadily, with nine shortly before the start of ECQ, to only one (1) a week later, with two new admissions by April 13.

The number of PUMs, on the other hand since the start of monitoring UP UNTIL March 29 was 1,970.

Of the number, 1215 were being actively monitored, and 725 having completed their quarantine.

A week into the ECQ, the number of discharged went up to 29, with only one admission. The deaths, however, increased, although only one was declared as COVID-related (Patient 6, who was in close contact with Patient 3, the lone admission).

The number of PUMs according to the CHO’s running tally was 2441, or an additional number of 471 PUMs since 29 March.

Of the 2441, however, 244 are being actively monitored while 2155 have completed their quarantine.

This means that from 1,215 PUMs being actively monitored, the number went down to 244.

This is a drop in the number of actively monitored PUMs by 79.9 percent.

The latest numbers sent to media by CHO shows that 171 are being actively monitored.

This means a drop of 85.9 percent of actively-monitored PUMs since March 29, or a day before the ECQ.

While fewer and fewer people are being monitored, the number of those who completed their quarantine also rises.

Before the start of the ECQ last 29 March, there were already 725 PUMs who finished their quarantine.

The number of PUMs who finished their quarantine last March 29 increased as the ECQ went on – from 725 to 1,255 by Day Seven of the ECQ.

The number of confirmed cases in Bacolod started with five last March 29, a day before the ECQ started.

No new confirmed cases were recorded until 2 April (one new case, Patient 6, a close contact of Patient 3), and on 3 April (Patient 7).

No new confirmed cases have been recorded since then.

The data from CHO also shows that a day before the ECQ, there were five admissions for the confirmed cases. The number dropped to four by March 31, then rose to five from April 2 to 6.

Currently, there is only one admission on confirmed cases, that of Patient 3 who went from critical to stable.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much for this comprehensive report. Actually, this is what I really want to know. Sad to know though that we still have an increasing # of PUI/Ms in BCD. Looking forward for further updates. Thanks

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