CEBU Province, and the three independent cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu will most likely remain under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until March 15, 2021, Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7) spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said.
This means an additional two weeks for DOH 7 and other officials involved in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response to keep transmission in check and ensure that the health system is not overwhelmed.
The other provinces in Central Visayas--Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor--will also remain under MGCQ, the most lenient form of community quarantine.
Loreche said this was the recommendation of the DOH central office’s technical advisory council (TAC) during their meeting on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, drawing sighs of relief from business leaders.
The TAC’s recommendation will be presented to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which will present the new risk classifications and community quarantine levels for March to President Rodrigo Duterte for approval before the end of February.
“That will be submitted to the IATF. At least, the technical advisory council listened to us and we were able to present our data and the action plans of the LGUs,” Loreche said.
“So basically, I think, very positive, optimistic, but there will be another meeting with them to discuss our activities,” she added.
Loreche said she and other DOH 7 officials presented the number of cases, admissions, case fatality rate and critical care utilization rate (CCUR).
The critical care utilization rate, which refers to the proportion of Covid-19 beds and ventilators that are in use, is the parameter considered by the IATF in the escalation of quarantine levels.
As of Feb. 25, Loreche said the CCUR in private hospitals in Cebu was 55.4 percent, which is still below the 60 percent warning threshold.
Of the 832 regular and intensive care unit Covid beds, 371 were still available as 461 were occupied.