Health official cites reasons for COVID-related deaths

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BAGUIO CITY – Regional health authorities disclosed that most of the deaths caused by the dreaded Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 had been reported in March and April this year with the highest peak from March 28 to April 3, 2021.

In her message during the Kasama sa Pamana regional pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) series held at the Baguio Convention Center recently, DOH-CAR assistant regional director Dr. Amelita M. Pangilinan disclosed that as of May 30, 2021, there were 376 males who died of the virus that represent 59 percent of the 641 COVID-related deaths.

Further, the age range of those who died is from 2 to 100 years old  with a median of 66 years.

She pointed out that based on the available data, the older a COVID patient is, the greater the risk of death.

On the other hand, she claimed that there were 374 deaths or 58 percent of the total recorded deaths with indicated co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Pangilinan admitted that there is a delay in seeking consultations and low or poor health-seeking behavior of the community and that the same is evidenced by the number of deaths who die at home, die upon arrival in a health facility or at the emergency room, including the short interval these cases have between seeking medical attention and dying.

According to her, it was also observed that there was also clustering of cases during the previous surge and that the same is due to alleged non-compliance to minimum public health standards, non-compliance to quarantine and isolation protocols, breach of the infection control protocols in health settings, the presence of variants of concern, presence of close settings, crowding and close contacts in homes and work settings among others.

Pangilinan stated that there was also the observation on clustering among those who live with, work with and cared for a patient with COVID-19 with or without symptoms.

The DOH-CAR official asserted that almost all of the COVID cases are from either household, workplace, and vice versa, and that there was also an increase in asymptomatics turning positive of the deadly virus.

The medical officer urged individuals who possess the symptoms of the virus such as cough and colds, fever, diarrhea, sore throat, among others, to immediately seek the appropriate medical attention from the nearest health center or health facility for them to be provided with the appropriate medication and not for them to self-medicate to prevent their health condition from being compromised because of the virus.

Pangilinan stipulated that people should not be afraid to seek medical attention from the health experts so that they will be given the needed medication and advise for them to be able to recover from their condition whether or not COVID for them to be able to recover from the illnesses.

She revealed that the agency remains steadfast in looking after the welfare of the people as there are still little signs that the pandemic will be over soon and what is important is for everyone to cooperate with the implementation of the prevailing health and safety protocols to prevent them from contracting the virus.

By Dexter A. See

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