Espinoza: Sorry folks, let’s endure more ECQ days

Free Zone

BEFORE I proceed, allow me to greet a very loud “Happy Mothers’ Day!” to all the mothers, especially to my wonderful mother, Felotea Laurente, who guided and taught me good manners and right conduct, fear and love of God even before I set foot on the steps of my alma mater Cagwait Central Elementary School. My mother joined our Creator on Jan. 10, 1974.

On Friday, May 15, is the timeline set by the Cebu City Government for the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). The ECQ was supposed to end on April 28, 2020, but Mayor Edgardo Labella extended it to May 15 because of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases.

With the current 1,464 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Cebu City as of Friday, May 7, I strongly suspect that the ECQ will not be lifted on May 15. Instead, it will be extended for another 15 days or even more. This is not to mention the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay.

In fact, the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), although subject to the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Province of Cebu was excluded from the list of provinces in Region VII that will revert to general community quarantine (GCQ).

With the ongoing rapid tests by the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, it would inevitable, that the number of the Covid-19 case will increase. This dreaded virus is not a laughing matter, but perhaps out of frustration someone joked “No test, no Covid-19 case.”

Per IATF, the regions in the country that are considered low risk and where quarantine is not necessary are Regions 1, IV-B, V, VI, VIII, X, XII and ARMM. The regions that are considered “moderate” and could revert to GCQ are Regions II, III, IV-A (except Laguna), CAR, VII (except Cebu), IX, XI, and XIII.

Will Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia object to this recommendation since the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu that have the most number of Covid-19 cases are highly urbanized and are not under Capitol’s jurisdiction? Was the IATF misled about the situation in Cebu?

Correct me if my information is not right, but from what I gathered the number of Covid-19 cases in the towns and component cities of the Province of Cebu are low that they could even fall under the first category (low risk) in the recommendation of the IATF. Meaning, no GCQ or ECQ, but only compliance of the minimum health standards set by the Department of Health.

I believe Garcia, the mayors of the towns and component cities of Cebu should rise to the occasion by correcting the perception that the entire province is infected with Covid-19. They should also ask the IATF to modify the province’s risk category since the high number of confirmed Covid-19 cases arise in these three highly urbanized cities.

The ECQ should be lifted in the low risk component cities and towns of the Province so that the people outside the highly urbanized cities could go back to their normal way of life, even though it may no longer be the same as it used to be since we will now call it a “new normal” even after the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, folks, particularly the seniors (sorry for the special mention), if we have endured the last two months under ECQ, I see no reason why we cannot do it for another mile. Let’s live it!


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