Catanduanes just out of the top 10 areas at high risk from COVID-19

In a recent meeting with the National Task Force (NTF), the Department of Health (DOH) and local government units, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año told LGUs that the national government’s target is to reach 70% of the total population with at least one (1) dose by the end of November and 70% of the total population fully vaccinated by the end of December.
Año also urged provinces to distribute to their component cities and municipalities their vaccine supplies within three days from the date of delivery, with the recipient cities and municipalities mandated to administer the vaccines to qualified recipients immediately and not more than within 15 days from the date of transfer.
The DILG chief strongly admonished against vaccine wastage saying that in case of negligence or indifference, LGU employees and personnel shall be properly investigated and necessary sanctions will be imposed, if warranted.
He said that those who will attempt to prevent the efficient implementation of the vaccination program will also be dealt with properly in accordance with existing laws and policies.
For the province of Catanduanes, that 70% target population with at least one (1) dose by the end of this month is equivalent to 190,316 people.
As of Nov. 4, 2021, only 76,140 Catandunganons have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, leaving the provincial government and the 11 municipal LGUs with 114,176 residents to be given their first jabs.
This means that vaccination teams would have to vaccinate nearly 4,400 people every day, without a break, until Nov. 30 for Catanduanes to reach the 70% target.
It also means that about 84,000 doses need to be delivered to the island within the next three weeks for the vaccination teams, assuming they stay healthy and strong, to be able to inoculate 4,400 people.
Thus, Governor Joseph Cua and the Catanduanes Medical Society are justified in calling for nurses, medical students, medical personnel from private hospitals and clinics, nurse educators from national agencies, including those from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Education (DepEd), and members of organizations and fraternities to sign up at the Rural Health Units or offer any kind of help in the vaccine drive.
As of now, Catanduanes has the highest vaccination rate based on population at 15.77 percent, with 42,880 already fully vaccinated. This is better than Albay’s 12.2% and Camarines Sur’s 11.65%.
This accomplishment is credited to health workers – from doctors to nurses and volunteers – comprising the vaccination teams that sometimes labor into the night just to perform their sworn duty.
But this is not yet a reason for LGUs to celebrate.
According to DOH statistics as Nov. 7, 2021, Catanduanes has an Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR) of 11.0, the highest among the six Bicol provinces. For comparison, the next highest ADAR in Bicol is 7.43 for Camarines Norte.
The higher the ADAR of a place, the higher the risk of getting COVID-19. And the island province right now is categorized as high-risk, for those with ADAR greater than 7.
As of the same date, however, Catanduanes is 12th among provinces and cities in the entire country as far as ADAR is concerned, just behind the 11th place San Juan City in Metro Manila with 11.58.
If our beloved province moves into the top 10, the blame would have to be laid on local chief executives from the mayor down to barangay captains for their failure to implement the MECQ restrictions and the minimum public health standards among their constituents

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