NO BLAMING. Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr. (inset), chief of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center–Subnational Laboratory, on Tuesday (June 9, 2020) said the spike in Covid-19 cases in Barangay Sambag 2, Cebu City, should not be blamed on the regional hospital and its medical front-liners. The city government has vowed to provide the VSMMC front-liners with temporary quarters. (Photos courtesy of VSMMC and Nonoy Mongaya)

CEBU CITY – The chief of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center–Subnational Laboratory here on Tuesday said medical staff should not be blamed for the rise in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the village of Sambag 2.

Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., VSMMC-SNL medical director, in a statement from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), said, "It’s not fair to say that it’s our fault there are infections. It’s already confirmed there (is) already local transmission”.

His reaction came after Ryan Aznar, village chief of Sambag 2, expressed concern on the presence of VSMMC personnel who are reportedly staying in rented rooms in the barangay.

The village, where the VSMMC is situated, has around 70 confirmed cases of Covid-19, of which 20 were VSMMC front-liners.

Some residents who went to the VSMMC outpatient department for consultation or to give birth were also tested positive, Aznar said.

However, Aquino said VSMMC obstetricians require Covid-19 tests on pregnant women who are due to deliver their babies.

“The swab was done within minutes of admission,” he said, adding that some of those who got their results after two days tested positive.

Aquino also said not all who are Covid-19 positive show respiratory symptoms.

He said their personnel who are directly assigned to take care of Covid-19 patients in the regional hospital are housed in a dormitory. They are only allowed to go home every after two weeks, he said.

Aquino expressed surprise that “those who were not handling Covid-19 patients were the ones who tested positive”.

In order to address the fears of village folk, Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas said Mayor Edgardo Labella agreed to provide a temporary boarding facility for the medical front-liners of the Department of Health (DOH)-run regional hospital.

The city government is now looking for hotels that could provide 25 beds for the VSMMC front-line personnel, Casas said. (PNA)