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‘Calamity’ declaration due to dengue cases hangs

By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
Contributing Editor .

DECLARING a state of calamity due to the dengue cases in Cagayan de Oro is now in the hands of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

This, after the 20-member City Council, during its regular session Monday, took cognizance of the declining cases of dengue cases the past three weeks based on a City Health Office surveillance reports.

Councilor Ma. Lourdes Gaane, who chairs the health and sanitation committee, echoed what she said Friday, in an interview over a state government’s radio station, that the City Council could only declare a state of calamity if it has a recommendation from the CDRRMC.

That recommendation must come from Mayor Oscar Moreno, the chair of the CDRRMC.

So far, the city’s legislative body has yet to receive a word from the CDRRMC  if it deemed necessary to make a declaration due to dengue.

Gaane said the declaration, which the city mayor has to affirm, is needed so that the five-percent calamity fund from the local government’s internal revenue allotment could be utilized for disaster preparedness and emergency assistance, either by man-made or natural calamities.

She said 70 percent of the calamity fund is intended for preventive measures while the remaining 30 percent is for emergency response. 

“Since our data is cumulative from January until August 23, it is difficult for us to pinpoint exactly how many of the dengue patients need assistance,” Gaane told DxIM-Radyo Pilipinas Friday.  

She said the dengue situation is different from those who have been displaced due to fire or flooding since affected residents will likely be in evacuation centers.

In the City Council session, CHO epidemiologist Dr. Joselito Retuya said his office has recorded 2,210 cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 23, this year, nine of the 15 who were reported to have died have already been validated.

Retuya said dengue incidence in the city peaked during the July 27 to Aug. 2 period (Week 31) with 209 cases, then the number of cases started to decline: 180 in week 32 (Aug. 3-9), 168 in week 33 (Aug. 10-16), and 120 in week 34 (Aug. 17-23).

“We recorded dengue cases every week since January this year, the number only went up during the onset of the rainy season,” the CHO diseases surveillance unit chief told the Gold Star Daily earlier.

The city epidemiologist further showed to City Council members computer-generated graphics that cases by barangay have been decreasing, an example of which was Carmen with 21 dengue cases (Aug 17-23) from a high of 30 (July 20-26).

Carmen, the city’s most populated and biggest in terms of land area and revenues, topped the list with 169 cases since Jan, 1, this year.   

But Retuya singled out Cugman, which was one top 10 barangays with 54 dengue cases cumulatively, yet it did not have a single incidence in the latest Aug. 17-23 surveillance period from a high 16 during the July 27-Aug. 2 “peak” period.

Aside from Carmen and Cugman, those in the top 10, as of Aug. 23, were barangays Kauswagan (79), Balulang (78), Iponan (69), Canito-an (61), Gusa (59), Lumbia (46), Camaman-an (45), Patag (45), Macasandig (33), Bulua (32), and Lapasan (30).    

Gaane attributed the reduction of dengue cases—in all those in top 10 barangays—as the combined effects of the Oplan Dengue campaigns the Department of Health and the Cagayan de Oro city government launched Aug. 6 and Aug. 20, respectively.

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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