THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu is sending teams to different establishments to make sure they comply with safety guidelines as Covid-19 cases in Cebu City continue to rise.

Dislodging the cities of Davao and Quezon, Cebu City posted the highest number of new coronavirus infections in a day on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. In a Department of Health bulletin issued at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Cebu City registered 84 new cases, followed by Davao City (67), Cavite (51), Quezon City (47) and Rizal (41).

These new infections were among the 1,173 new cases confirmed by the DOH on Tuesday.

DTI officer-in-charge provincial director Esperanza Melgar said the agency is once again calling for the cooperation of businesses to follow health protocols.

“We are sending reminders to the business establishments on the health protocols. Monitoring on compliance is also done by our staff,” she said.

CCCI president Felix Taguiam said it would hurt businesses if the cases continue to rise.

“We in the business sector are much concerned with the double- digit rise. We are constantly reminding our members not to forget all the basic work safe protocols,” he told SunStar Cebu.

He added that businesses can’t afford another lockdown should the situation get out of hand again.

“We have experienced the hardships of last year and businesses are ramping up activities now,” he said.

At the height of the pandemic last year, businesses, except for the essential ones, were forced to temporarily close as the city battled the rising cases of Covid-19.

Stricter regulations and lockdowns disrupted business operations and contributed to low consumer spending.

Consumers now cautious

Ines Cajegas, chief of the consumer protection division of DTI-Cebu Province, said most consumers these days tend to buy only essential goods (food, medicine, vitamins and disinfectants) and shorten their stay at the supermarket or wet market.

“They do their shopping real quickly. People are no longer flocking to stores which offer sales discounts or freebies. Instead, most stick to buying basic necessities and prime commodities,” she said.

For those who have the financial means, Cajegas noted they prefer ordering online and opt for food deliveries.

“It is observed that the majority go out to buy with their face masks and face shields and prefer less crowded shopping centers. Consumers are no longer in panic buying mode. It’s as if the pandemic is already a normal situation wherein there is no need to hoard because supply is available,” she said.

However, DTI Cebu said consumers should continue to follow safety protocols implemented by the government and the private sector to control the rising cases of Covid-19. (JOB)