CEBU

Cortes calls for retention of Mandaue’s GCQ status

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes. File photo

AFTER Wednesday, July 15, 2020, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes wants his city to remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) but with specific lockdowns in critical areas to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Considered critical areas are the top five barangays with the highest number of active coronavirus disease cases.

These barangays are Looc, Subangdaku, Banilad, Pagsabungan and Paknaan.

Lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, Cortes' executive secretary, said the lockdowns will be implemented only in certain sitios in those five barangays.

There will be no city-wide or barangay-wide lockdown, Ibañez said.

"We cannot afford to be complacent this time because if we relax prematurely, we run the risk of cases going up and out of control," Ibañez said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

As of July 13, 2020, Monday, Mandaue City recorded a total of 1,265 Covid-19 patients with 806 active cases, 434 recoveries and 25 deaths.

Barangay Looc had the highest number of active cases at 77. The barangay also had 14 Covid-19 recoveries and three deaths.

Ibañez said they have already controlled the cases in Barangay Looc and will focus on the recoveries.

Subangdaku was registered as the barangay with the second highest number of Covid-19 patients with 57 active cases, 37 recoveries and two deaths.

The barangay with the third highest number of cases in Mandaue was Banilad with 41 active cases, 11 recoveries and one death.

This was followed by Barangay Opao with 40 active cases, seven recoveries, and one death.

Barangay Pagsabungan and Barangay Paknaan had the same number of active Covid-19 cases at 38.

Cortes assured that all the households that will be affected by the lockdown will receive "Stay at Home" kits consisting of rice, canned goods, hygiene kits and vitamins.

Downgrade

In Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella hopes the city’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status will be downgraded by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Wednesday.

Labella told reporters that despite reports that Covid-19 cases have been increasing in his city, these are outweighed by the number of recoveries.

As of Tuesday, July 14, Covid-19 cases in Cebu City have reached 7,439.

A total of 3,292 are active cases, while 3,818 have recovered and 364 have died.

The city posted a 51 percent recovery rate.

"Well, that decision is addressed to the discretion of the IATF. But if I were to be asked, considering the number of our recoveries and (we have the) highest recovery rate in the country, I think we should be at least downgraded to a lower quarantine classification whether it is MECQ (modified ECQ) or GCQ, depending on their assessment," Labella said.

Labella said downgrading the city’s quarantine status will facilitate the slow return of the city's economic activity which has been greatly affected by the pandemic.

Labella also reiterated his call to Cebu City residents to continue observing safety and health protocols such as the wearing of face masks, strict social distancing, and the continuous disinfection of their surroundings.

For Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, Cebu City needs to remain under ECQ due to its increasing number of Covid-19 cases.

Rather than downgrading Cebu City’s quarantine status, Ferro prefers the implementation of a "granular de-escalation" of quarantine levels in some areas of the region.

Ferro said the IATF needs to monitor if Covid-19 cases will remain high in the region and if health facilities still have enough capacity to take care of those infected by the virus. (PAC / JKV, AYB / JKV)


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