Mayor: Zamboanga City experiencing third surge in COVID-19 cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 10) – Zamboanga City is experiencing its third surge in COVID-19 cases, Mayor Beng Climaco told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend on Sunday.

The southern city tallied 227 new infections on Sunday, increasing its total active cases to 2,495.

Climaco said the city’s seven-day positivity rate breached the 20% mark, as she urgently requested national pandemic response officials for additional personal protective equipment and antigen test kits.

The Zamboanga City mayor also reported a shortage in medical oxygen supply in the area given the increase in COVID-19 infections, adding that she had already taken the responsibility of coordinating the needed stock even for the city’s private hospitals.

“The doctors are saying, even in private hospitals, na naghahanap na po ‘yung pasyente at nagdadala ng sarili nila kung meron pa silang oxygen tank. Hindi po dapat na maging ganito ang sitwasyon [that the patients themselves are the ones looking for and bringing their own oxygen tank. This should not be the situation],” Climaco said.

Medical groups in Zamboanga City also appealed to Climaco to impose a modified enhanced community quarantine in the city to give their frontliners a much needed “medical timeout.”

Climaco said the city’s total COVID-19 bed capacity is now at critical level at 85.6% while the isolation capacity is at 79%.

“We want to target 3,000 isolation beds for COVID-19,” the mayor said.

The Zamboanga City Medical Center has exceeded its 222 COVID-19 bed capacity after 225 patients were admitted to the hospital. Of the number, 207 are COVID-19 patients.

Ito ang pinakamalaking tertiary hospital hindi lang sa Region 9 pero pati na rin sa Basilan, Sulu, at Tawi-Tawi. Kaya naka-maximum capacity na siya [This is the biggest tertiary hospital not just in Region 9 but it also serves Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. That’s why it is now in maximum capacity),” said Climaco.

She also appealed for more COVID-19 vaccines for Zamboanga City as only 21% of their target population have been fully vaccinated, while 29% already had their first dose.