National and Negros Oriental local officials during the kick-off of the vaccination information campaign of the administration, headed by the Presidential Communications Operations Office. (PIO NegOr)

The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) is monitoring the surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental, which now closely rivals those in Cebu City.

OPAV Asec. Anthony Gerard “Jonji” Gonzales said Cebu City continues to have the most reported cases in Central Visayas, but they are also closely looking at Dumaguete City.

“Cebu [City] has the highest attack rate, and Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental seem to come at a close second,” Gonzales said in Bisaya during the Explain, Explain, Explain: Pagduaw sa Negros Oriental, Friday, Jan. 22.

Gonzales said the Department of Health (DOH) Region 7 and OPAV are focused on supporting local authorities in curving Covid-19 cases.

“We are working together to help Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City lower its cases to prevent the health care system being overwhelmed,” he said.

The Negros Oriental Integrated Provincial Health Office reported just this month a surge of Covid-19 infections attributed to the recent holiday celebrations, with most cases in Dumaguete City.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 Regional Director, said cases in Dumaguete City have reduced in the past two weeks.

 “In terms of active cases, [Cebu and Dumaguete City] is similar,” Bernadas said. ”It’s really not high as that because there are still recoveries not yet accounted for,” Bernadas quoted Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo as saying.

Dumaguete City Health Officer Dr. Maria Sarah Talla reported Thursday, Jan. 22, an “active case drop of 57” cases.

As of writing, 275 have already recovered in Dumaguete City with 16 reported deaths.

Bernadas asks Negros Oriental mayors and local health officials to continue to be vigilant and be more active in contact tracing and isolation to avoid the increase of Covid19 cases.

Presidential Communications and Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar headed the administration’s vaccination information campaign which kicked off in Cebu CIty early this week. – Ryan Sorote