Outbreak City

CEBU CITY has become the epicenter of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Central Visayas.

On Friday, April 17, 2020, the city accounted for 161 of the region’s 180 cases. Cebu City reported its first Covid-19 cases only on March 28.

Here’s a look at how the city has prepared for the Covid-19 outbreak.

Jan. 28, 2020

With the new coronavirus infecting 4,500 people worldwide and killing over 100 Chinese nationals, some Chinese-Filipino schools in Cebu City implement temperature checks and require students and staff, who just came from China for the Spring Festival, to undergo a two-week quarantine, as precautions against the novel coronavirus.

Jan. 30, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) confirms the first case of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines—a female from Wuhan, China who arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Jan. 21.

Feb. 1, 2020

The second confirmed case in the Philippines, the husband of the first case, dies in a Manila hospital.

Feb. 2, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte bans the entry of tourists from China, exempting Filipino citizens and Permanent Resident Visa holders, who are subject to 14-day quarantine on arrival in the Philippines.

Feb. 4, 2020

The Cebu City Government conducts a simulation exercise to check the city’s readiness to deal with any patient who should test positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Feb. 5, 2020

The DOH says the country’s third case, a female from Wuhan, also entered the country through Cebu.

Feb. 19, 2020

Cebu City officials agree to convert the Cebu City Resources Management and Development Center in Barangay Taptap into a quarantine facility for Cebu City residents coming in from China who cannot stay in their homes for home quarantine due to the presence of pregnant women, senior citizens, children below 10 years old or other immunocompromised persons. The center can house up to 200 persons.

Feb. 27, 2020

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella requests the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) in Central Visayas to support the Philippine Coast Guard in screening crew members of vessels coming from countries affected by Covid-19, including China and South Korea. Ships may not dock if any of its crew members manifest Covid-19 symptoms.

March 7, 2020

The Philippines confirms its sixth case. President Duterte places the country under a State of Public Health Emergency following the confirmation of local Covid-19 transmission.

March 10, 2020

The Cebu City Government begins distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective suits, masks, goggles and digital thermal scanners to the Cebu City Medical Center. Also to receive the PPE are health responders, police personnel, BOQ and Bureau of Immigration. In February, the City Council had approved P15 million for the purchase of PPE, medicine and disinfectants.

March 11, 2020

A 65-year-old Filipino in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental in Central Visayas tests positive. The University of Cebu cuts short its school year. Southwestern University Phinma moves graduation rites.

March 12, 2020

Cebu City disinfects and cleans 10 public markets: Ramos, T. Padilla, Pardo, Pasil, Taboan, Freedom Park, Warwick Barracks, and Units 1, 2 and 3 of Carbon Market.

March 13, 2020

Labella suspends classes in both public and private schools in all levels from March 16 to 28. Private establishments are encouraged to use a temperature scanning device at the entry points in their premises, and make hand soaps, hand sanitizers and alcohol accessible.

March 13, 2020

The Cebu City Council places the city under a state of calamity to allow the City Government to use the calamity fund to immediately address Covid-19 concerns.

March 14, 2020

Labella announces a curfew for minors from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

March 15, 2020

Labella declares a State of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Cebu City from March 16 to April 14, 2020, advising residents to leave home only for work, to buy food and necessary supplies, and to go to medical centers. Operating hours of malls, and recreational and community centers are limited to 8 p.m. Private establishments are ordered to use temperature scanners at entry points. Mass gatherings are cancelled or postponed. Suspension of classes is extended until April 14. Seaports are closed to passenger arrivals. Public transport operators are ordered to implement the one-seat-apart policy. An 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is imposed. The city’s entry points get health checkpoints.

March 16, 2020

Labella closes the Cebu City Night Bazaar on Colon St.

March 16, 2020

Labella imposes a liquor ban in all public places for the duration of the GCQ.

March 17, 2020

Labella orders social distancing for business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) operations and religious services, the closure of night markets, and the provision of delivery services by food establishments. He directs medical establishments to provide PPE to personnel handling Covid-19 cases, and instructs barangays to conduct house-to-house monitoring of vulnerable and sick individuals.

March 18, 2020

The province of Cebu logs its first Covid-19 case, a 65-year-old male confined at the Chong Hua Hospital Mandaue in Mandaue City.

March 18, 2020

Cebu City suspends the operations of all enclosed recreation centers, fitness centers, gyms, movie houses, casinos, bars and clubs.

March 18, 2020

Visiting privileges of inmates in the Cebu City Jail and Operation Second Chance Center are suspended.

March 19, 2020

Cebu City closes malls, except for tenants that are groceries, supermarkets, banks and money transfer firms, pharmacies and hardware stores. Also closed are spas, barber shops, hair salons, massage parlors, aesthetic centers; Internet cafes and gaming arcades; videoke or karaoke bars/rooms; sports centers, country clubs and golf courses.

March 20, 2020

Cebu City says it will build a one-story quarantine center at the North Reclamation Area to house Covid-19 patients. It will be run by the Cebu City Medical Center. Plans are also announced for the setup of the Bayanihan Cebu Center at the satellite campus of the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu on General Maxilom Ave. It is to have a quarantine area of 50 beds, temporary lab facility for testing of Covid-19 and a DOH operation center.

March 22, 2020

Cebu City orders senior citizens 65 years old and above and minors to stay home, with exemptions.

March 23, 2020

Labella orders exempted establishments—grocery stores or supermarkets, banks and money transfer firms, pharmacies and hardware stores—to implement social distancing measures and limit the number of customers entering their premises at any given time.

March 24, 2020

BPO and KPO firms and export-oriented industries are ordered to implement business contingency measures by March 29. These may include temporary accommodation and transportation of its employees within a two-kilometer radius from the workplace, ensuring that employees working within the premises are provided with basic supplies in their pantries. Flexible work arrangements such as work-from-home, forced leave and suspension of business and/or departments of the BPO and KPO should be implemented.

March 26, 2020

With Cebu City having at least seven presumptive positive Covid-19 cases, Labella places Cebu City under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from noon of March 28, 2020 to noon of April 28, 2020, mandating all persons (except those in exempt businesses) to stay home, closing businesses, limiting the operating hours of some exempt businesses until 8 p.m., suspending regular public transport, restricting land and sea travel; and restricting the entry or exit of persons in Cebu City to essential personnel. Hotels are barred from accepting new bookings.

March 27, 2020

Under the guidelines for the issuance of ECQ passes to regulate the number of people who leave their homes to buy essential goods, an ECQ pass is to be issued to only one member per household. Exempted from getting the pass, if they can present a company ID or any other relevant document, are medical and emergency personnel, authorized government personnel, drivers and personnel of cargo delivery vehicles, authorized construction workers, and agri-business workers, among others.

March 28, 2020

The DOH in Central Visayas reports Cebu City’s first cases—19 of them, saying two have died, while one has recovered. The total number of Covid-19 cases in the region is 26.

March 28, 2020

Cebu Province closes its borders with Cebu City from March 30, 2020, prohibiting entry into the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Cebu, except for select government officials and personnel, essential workers and those seeking medical treatment.

March 29, 2020

Cebu City now has 20 confirmed Covid-19 cases, of whom three have died and one recovered.

March 30, 2020

Regional Development Council 7 Chairman Kenneth Cobonpue says a quarantine center will be completed at the International Eucharistic Congress grounds in Mabolo in a month, to house mildly symptomatic persons who cannot be home quarantined.

April 1, 2020

Labella directs all persons in Cebu City to wear face masks in public places during the ECQ.

April 7, 2020

The first Covid-19 case is reported in Sitio Zapatera, Barangay Luz, Cebu City. Sitio Zapatera, a densely populated sitio of 9,000 residents, is placed under lockdown.

April 7, 2020

Covid-19 cases in Central Visayas reach 36, of which 23 are in Cebu City, four in Negros Oriental, three each in Lapu-Lapu City and Cebu Province, two in Mandaue City and one in Bohol.

April 11, 2020

The second and third Covid-19 cases are reported in Sitio Zapatera, Barangay Luz.

April 14, 2020

Six more people test positive for Covid-19 in Cebu City. Five are from Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz, and one from Barangay Labangon, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 31. Labella appeals to the city’s 1.1 million residents to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.

April 15, 2020

Cebu City records 21 new cases in Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz, and one in Barangay Guadalupe, bringing the cases in the city to 53.

April 15, 2020

After Cebuanos flout social distancing and flock to Carbon Market on Holy Thursday to buy ingredients for “binignit,” Cebu City regulates entry to the city’s largest public market by designating market days based on the first letter of the consumers’ last names.

April 16, 2020

Cebu City records 24 more Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 77. All 24 of the new cases are from Sitio Zapatera. Barangay Luz now has 53 cases.

April 17, 2020

Cebu City records 82 new cases in Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz and two in Barangay Labangon, raising the total number of cases in the city to 161. With Barangay Luz now having 135 cases, Labella orders a lockdown of the barangay.

April 18, 2020

Cebu City reports a new case each in Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz and Barangay Hipodromo, bringing the city’s total cases to 163. Covid-19 has now reached 16 of the city’s 80 barangays: Babag 2, Banilad, Luz, Calamba, Kamputhaw, Capitol, Cogon Ramos, Guadalupe, Hipodromo, Kinasang-an, Labangon, Mambaling, Oprra, Sta. Cruz, Sambag 2 and Talamban. Of the 163 cases, five have died while 15 have tested negative for the virus.


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