THE spike in Covid-19 cases in Cebu's cities and municipalities has alarmed the business community, especially that the total active cases have breached the 1,000 mark and the capacity utilization rate doubled in 22 days.
The convenors and affiliated organizations of the Project Balik Buhay (PBB) strongly appealed to the general public to observe greater vigilance and responsibility by strictly abiding by health safety protocols enforced by the government.
Covid in Cebu
According to PBB, Covid Bed Capacity Utilization Rate (CUR) in private hospitals has gone up to 24.2 percent on January 25, 2021, from 11.4 percent on January 3, 2021.
For two days, January 26 and 27, 2021, Cebu topped among cities and provinces that logged the highest number of new Covid-19 cases.
The entire Cebu island recorded a total of 1,906 total active cases as of January 26, 2021, almost breaching the 2,000 mark.
Cebu City logged the highest with 986, Cebu province at 553, Mandaue City at 248 and Lapu-Lapu City at 119.
Health experts observed that the spike in Covid-19 cases is mainly attributed to public gatherings and activities in some business establishments, especially bars, which violated capacity and health safety protocols.
"We appeal to those going to parties and gatherings to be mindful that asymptomatics are usually the spreaders who can infect the elderly and those with co-morbidities. While we are all responsible for our health, safety and our lives, we also have a responsibility to others," the statement added.
PBB made the appeal as Chinese New Year and Valentines' celebrations are approaching and gatherings are most likely to happen.
"We urge the Cebuano community to be circumspect in their plans and actions," the PBB said.
"Cebu's economy is slowly gaining momentum -- thanks to the efforts of our local and provincial government. We do not want to reach another tipping point where we will have to choose between health and economy," PBB said in a statement.
It added that balance between health and economy can only happen if the public strictly follows health and safety protocols:
* wearing of masks
* washing hands
* social distancing
* avoiding crowded places
PBB is a government project in partnership with the private sector that will serve as a road map for businesses to open safely amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the private sectors involved in PBB are the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu; Cebu Chinese-Filipino Chamber of Commerce; and the Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter. (MVG with PR)