Cimatu to Cebu City: Have ‘zero cases’

COVID RESPONSE. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu (right), overseer of government’s Covid-19 response, listens intently as Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella (left) explains how the city has managed to successfully bring down its coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Cimatu visited Cebu on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020./ Allan Cuizon

AFTER Cebu City was able to bring down its number of active Covid-19 cases for several weeks, the next challenge given to City officials is to finally bring the cases down to zero.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Visayas overseer of government’s coronavirus response, issued the challenge in a visit to Cebu City on Thursday, Oct.

22, 2020.

“I challenge a possible zero, because I was looking at the recovery versus new cases. If the recovery is more than the new cases, then it is decreasing already,” Cimatu said in a press conference.

“Our objective is to bring down this active case to zero and this is really, I can say, (almost) an impossible one to do; but it can be done and so I don’t really foresee a problem in this task especially with the organization here,”

he said.

As of Oct. 22, the active Covid-19 cases in Cebu City dropped to 196 based on the data provided by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The city has a positivity rate of 12.68 percent as of Oct. 22.

Recovery rate

Cebu City has a total of 10,188 confirmed Covid-19 cases, but 9,313 have already recovered from the disease. The figure shows a recovery rate of 91.41 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of recorded mortalities has reached 677.


Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas spokesperson for Covid-19 updates Mary Jean Loreche said while Cimatu’s challenge is a good goal to have for Cebu City, health authorities will remain vigilant in the people’s adherence to basic health standards and will continue with regular testing for surveillance and monitoring.

“The continued vigilance and making available health services for persons who may develop the disease is likewise our goal in learning to live with Covid-19,” said Loreche.

Model city

With Covid-19 cases in Cebu City continuously going down, Cimatu said the health protocols being implemented here have now become a model for other local government units like Iloilo and Bacolod.

Cimatu said the barangays play a big part in controlling the spread of Covid-19.

“This pandemic only comes once in a lifetime, so if you are elected as the barangay captain, then this is your chance to show your leadership because this will not come again in your lifetime,” Cimatu recalled telling barangay captains in June.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) deputy chief implementer, attributes the decline in active Covid-19 cases to strict community quarantine policies being implemented even though the city is

now under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Cebu City will remain under MGCQ until the end of October.

National tally

The DOH on Thursday reported an additional 1,664 cases of coronavirus infection, bringing the total case count in the country to 363,888.

The DOH also reported 843 new recoveries and 38 additional mortalities.

A total of 312,333 have recovered as of 4 p.m. Thursday while 6,783 had died.

Eleven cases previously tagged as recovered were reclassified as deaths.

Of the 1,664 newly-reported cases, 1,526 (92 percent) occurred within the recent 14 days from October 9 to 22.

The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were National Capital Region or Metro Manila (438), Calabarzon (235), and Western Visayas (170).

Of the 38 additional deaths, 25 occurred in October, nine in September, one in August, one in July, one in June and one

in May.

The deaths were from Metro Manila (11), Calabarzon (8), Davao (7), Western Visayas (6), Central Visayas (3), Soccsksargen (2) and Cagayan Valley (1). (MVI/SunStar Philippines)


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