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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, April 2, 2020
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'Negros COVID cases could hit 3,358'


Corona virus disease (COVID-19)-positive cases in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental could hit 3,358 based on scientific statistical projections if continuous testing is conducted, Dr. Julius Drilon, said yesterday.

Drilon, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital chief, said of the total estimate, 168 COVID positive cases will need critical care.

The critical cases worldwide are 5 percent of the total COVID-19 positive cases, he said.

He said they reached their figures based on the total population of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City that is 3,059,136, and the 1,098 cases per one million Chinese in Hubei.

Dr. Marlyn Convocar, Department of Health 6 regional director, said as of yesterday there were 25 COVID positive cases in Western Visayas, with six in Bacolod and one in Negros Occidental.

The rest of the COVID-positive cases in WV are seven in Iloilo province, Aklan -five, Capiz - three, and Iloilo City - three, she said

The increasing number of cases indicates that there is already local transmission in Bacolod City and Iloilo province, she said.

"We are appealing to the public to work hand in hand with the Department of Health. In these trying times , we need to unite and harmonize our efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases. We are in this together," she said.

The cases are expected to peak in Negros Occidental by April 20 based on the Hubei experience , if continuous tests are conducted, Drilon said.

Drilon said the statistical estimates were reached based on the Hubei,China , experience, and is seen to be 90 percent accurate.

Drilon said he was releasing the data reached by the statisticians to remind authorities of the need to prepare for a surge of COVID-19 patients.

There is a need to prepare adequate space for patients, health personnel , protective gear and other medical supplies, he said.

He said if there will be 168 critical cases, the CLMMRH right now only has the capacity for 35.

"We are fighting an invisible enemy unlike in a conventional war so I wanted to be prepared," Drilon said.

So he sought help from his friends in the Department of National Defense Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Unit and they advised him to determine what to expect versus the CLMMRH capacity, and those needing Intensive Care Unit care, Drilon said.

So with the available data in Negros, and the Chinese model statisticians came up with their projections scientifically, he said.

"Our strategy is to define the enemy so we will know what to expect," he said.

Melvin Purzuelo, coordinator of Green Forum-Westen Visayas, on the other hand said, the Philippines parameters are comparable with those of its Southeast Asian neighbors, among them Brunei that seems to have already reached its peak at 270 cases per one million population.*


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