CEBU City will be under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), while the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue will be on general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1 until June 15, 2020.

Resolution 40 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases containing the new classifications of local government units (LGUs) was passed May 27, 2020.

Cebu City, classified as high-risk highly urbanized city (HUC), will be under MECQ without prejudice to the declaration of localized enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in critical areas.

Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu cities and the rest of Central Visayas classified as moderate-risk provinces and highly urbanized cities will be under GCQ and localized ECQ in critical areas can be enforced.

However, Lapu-Lapu City and the rest of Central Visayas are already under GCQ since the second half of May.

The new classifications came at a time when the country's coronavirus infections continue to rise and as of May 27, 2020, there are a total of 15,049 confirmed cases.

Central Visayas has a total of 2,376 total confirmed cases as of May 23 with 156 recoveries and 47 deaths.

Data from the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas showed that Cebu City logged the highest number of confirmed cases at 1,939, 90 recoveries and 23 deaths as of May 23.

Mandaue City came next, with 221 total confirmed cases, seven recoveries and three deaths.

Cebu City and Mandaue City were classified by the IATF as high-risk HUCs and were placed under ECQ from May 16 until May 31, 2020.

Earlier, a team of experts from the University of the Philippines in a post-ECQ report, recommended to continue "significant restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Cebu City."

The report was prepared by UP Professors David Guido, Ranjit Singh Rye and Patricia Agbulos. Erwin Alampay, Emmanuel Lallana, Rodrigo Angelo Ong, Elmer Soriano and Benjamin Vallejo Jr.

Basis of the report were data from the Department of Health (DOH) from April 26 to May 16, 2020.

The experts also confirmed that the ECQ implemented by government has been critical in reducing the transmission and deaths due to the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The decline of the reproduction number means the spread of Covid-19 is either controlled or in a decelerating trend, the report said.

"ECQ was successful despite limited testing and contact tracing in the country. It does not mean, however, that the positive trend is irreversible," the experts said.

However, the experts clarified that even if the reproduction number for the country has been decreasing, but in some LGUs the pandemic is still ongoing and needs to be managed well.

Based on the report using DOH data, the level of pandemic in NCR and Cebu City is still high, considering the number of new Covid-19 cases in these areas.

In the case of Cebu City, the experts noted that in April 11, it only reported 24 cases and a reproduction number of less than one, but one month later, the number has exceeded 1,400.

"This means that we cannot afford to be complacent, even in areas where the pandemic appears to be contained, because it takes just one spreader to start a second wave of the pandemic," the report said.

The experts recommended for government to ensure that health systems are capable of detecting, testing, isolating and treating every case of Covid-19, as well as tracing every contact.

It recommended further the rules on physical distancing and health safeguards, especially in malls and other establishments that are allowed to operate under MECQ. (MVG)