Iloilo’s new COVID-19 cases in January already top total December haul

ILOILO–Even health officials in the province of Iloilo are greatly bewildered by the sudden spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases of late. Already, the number of new cases this month has topped the total for December last year with five days more to go before January ends.

According to Dr. Ma. Socorro Quiñon of the Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO), 368 new cases were recorded in the first 25 days of January 2021, with 72 cases on January 21 alone.

The daily average is pegged at 14.72 cases.

This resulted in Iloilo overtaking Negros Occidental with the most number of active cases at 303. Iloilo City is at second with 213 while former pacesetters Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are now third and fourth with 168 and 119, respectively.

Based on records by the IPHO, there are already a total of 3,455 COVID-19 cases in the province since early last year, making it fourth in Western Visayas, and with 101 deaths so far.

On the Top 10 list of Iloilo municipalities with the most number of COVID-19 cases are Oton – 387, Passi City – 315, Pavia – 291, Pototan – 145, Guimbal – 142, Sta. Barbara – 130, Cabatuan – 126, San Joaquin – 124, Tigbauan  111, and Miag-ao – 103.

The majority of the cases, Quiñon said, are local cases accounting for 78%; locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) – 14%; returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) – 7%; and authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) – 1%.

She added that a major reason for the unexpected uptick in cases could be the decision to downgrade the province’s quarantine status to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) from the more restrictive General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

The recent holidays, too, are seen as contributory factors.

“Many Ilonggos were easily swayed by the festive mood to visit friends and family, perhaps forgetting that they were supposed to limit their movements to only what was absolutely necessary,” Quiñon concluded./(N. Glenn Aragon/INews)

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