No lockdown despite rising cases, officials assure

File photo

THERE will be no lockdown in Cebu City despite the rise in cases of coronavirus infection, retired general Melquiades Feliciano said during his visit on Monday, January 18, 2021.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC), also debunked rumors of stricter quarantine measures.

He said not even a granular lockdown is being implemented anywhere in the city.

He also said the barangays and the City Government are capable of containing transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) through immediate contact tracing and isolation of those who test positive for the virus.

Earlier, he said contract tracers are deployed as early as 5 a.m. and the barangays are able to identify the new cases even before the contact tracers arrive. There are 181 contact tracers in Cebu City.

Feliciano, who is the deputy chief implementer for the Visayas of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, traced the spike in cases to the increased movement during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

He said other areas in the country were also seeing a post-holiday increase in infections.

Feliciano said he was optimistic that the EOC could handle the situation. He also said the cases would taper off in two weeks. He did not elaborate.

He noted that occupancy of beds designated for Covid-19 patients remained low. Of the 813 Covid-19 beds, 219 were occupied as of January 17.

New cases averaged nearly 45 a day in the week from January 11 to 17, a 30 percent increase from the 34 cases a day in the previous week from January 4 to 10 and over 200 percent higher than the 14 cases a day for the period from December 28, 2020 to January 3, 2021.

Daily cases averaged only 13.3 in November and six in December 2020.

As of January 17, the number of people who have contracted Sars-CoV-2 in Cebu City has reached 11,433, including 699 who had died, 10,154 who have recovered and 580 who are still considered active cases.

Of the 580 active cases, 301 are under isolation at the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah), 21 at the IC3 Bayanihan Center and 83 in government hospitals.

The rest are in hotels and government facilities.

As of January 17, a total of 137,253 individuals have been tested, 8.32 percent of whom were found positive for the virus.

Since January 1, nine Covid-19 patients had died.

Assistant Cebu City Health Officer Michelle Linsalata advised those who are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 to immediately seek medical assistance.

She said late medical intervention could lead to death.

Linsalata said many people who developed symptoms during the holidays may have delayed seeking medical help.

The EOC said 54 out of Cebu City’s 80 barangays have active Covid-19 transmission. The 26 others have had no transmission in the past 14 days.

Feliciano said a major defense against Covid-19 is compliance to the minimum public health standards such as frequent hand washing, wearing of masks and face shields, and physical distancing.

“Just follow the health protocols. It’s always a shared responsibility. The citizens must do their part,” he said. (JJL)


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