THE lockdown in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal on Monday, March 29, was expected. On March 22, 2021, these areas were reverted to the general community quarantine (GCQ) status from modified GCQ because the rate of coronavirus infection was faster than the rest of the cities and provinces of the country.
On Monday, March 29, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 10,016 new cases, a new record high for the country. The new cases brought the cumulative case count to 731,894 and raised the number of active cases to 115,495. The ECQ proclamation was just timely especially since more people tend to go out of their homes and spend it somewhere during the Holy Week.
But to put matters lightly during the observance of the Lent and in this time of the pandemic, Alex, a golf buddy, sent me a post through Viber defining ECQ, which means "Encounter Christ Quietly" this Holy Week. The ECQ declaration for NCR and the neighboring provinces from March 29, 2021 to April 4, 2021 is somehow timely since most residents would be confined in their homes and perhaps do some reflections rather than enjoying in amusement places during this solemn week.
Who's to blame? No one else but each and of every one of us who do not follow even the minimum health protocols. The other factor is, of course, the relaxation of the enforcement of the health protocols because it's the intention of this government to put back its feet on the ground after last year's dire effect on the country's economy brought about by this coronavirus. You know, some canny guys would ignore the health protocols if no one is enforcing them.
The opening of the borders of the different provinces, particularly in Luzon and Mindanao, to spur the country's tourism industry and the movement of goods and agricultural produce from one province to another may also have some awful consequences only that there were no data about it. Here in Cebu, especially in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, the rate of coronavirus infection was a seesaw.
The bulletin of DOH-Central Visayas on March 6, 2021 showed Cebu City had 3,565 Covid-19 active cases with 161 new cases, while the province had 1,299, Lapu-Lapu City had 958 and Mandaue City 982. To recall, Octa Research recommended to the IATF to put back Cebu and Region 7 under GCQ but it did not happen because the local officials, particularly Governor Gwen Garcia, strongly objected to the suggestion.
Fortunately, with the strong efforts of the local officials and the law enforcement agents in strictly enforcing the health protocols and other measures, the active Covid-19 cases in Cebu City was reduced to 1,812 with 80 new cases per DOH-Central Visayas bulletin on March 28, 2021, while the Province minimally increased to 1,627 active cases with 72 new cases. Cebu and Region 7 is way below the mark compared to NCR, hence there is no reason to put us under GCQ neither ECQ.
When Metro Manila was reverted to GCQ because of the increasing coronavirus infection, I urged everyone in my SuperBalita column to observe and comply with the health protocols so that Cebu, especially the three cities will not revert to GCQ. But there are still hard asses who do not observe the minimum health protocols even after NCR was placed under GCQ and now ECQ. Fellows, let's comply with the health protocols for everybody's sake, especially our health and medical frontliners.