GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Officials have declared the municipality of Tupi in South Cotabato under a state of calamity because of a rising incidence of dengue fever.
Emil Sumagaysay, Tupi Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) chief, said the Sangguniang Bayan made the declaration on Thursday to implement interventions against the spread of the viral disease.
Reports from Tupi Municipal Health Office (MHO) said the number of confirmed dengue cases already reached 297 as of July 14.
The figure, Sumagaysay said, is up by about 48 percent compared to the same period last year.
Four deaths from dengue complications were recorded in three of the15 barangay (villages) since April.
At the government-run Roel I. Senador Memorial Hospital, patient admission for dengue cases has exceeded its 30-bed capacity.
Local private hospitals have been forced to decline and recommend patients to seek treatment in hospitals in Koronadal City and neighboring areas, also because of limited bed capacities.
The MHO and MDRRMO were ordered to set up tents outside the municipal hospital to accommodate the patients.
Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. also directed the use of the hospital’s conference room and other nearby buildings for such purpose.
Their campaigns are focused on the massive conduct of “Operation Kulob” or clean-up of possible breeding places of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in local communities.
Meanwhile, dengue cases in Baguio City increased to almost 2,000 in the first seven months of the year, the Department of Health–Cordillera Regional Office (DOH-CAR) said also on Thursday.
DOH-CAR Director Lakshmi Legaspi said based on epidemiology reports, dengue cases in the region have been increasing since 2014.
From January to July this year, there were 1,199 cases with one casualty–a 57-year- old male from Barangay San Luis–compared to only 239 last year with no deaths, Legaspi said.
She added that Baguio is above the alert level and the department is closely monitoring to ensure that dengue incidence does not reach the epidemic level and becomes an outbreak.