IT’S about time that the local government units strictly enforce the health protocols and come up with measures that would prevent the rise in the number of Covid-19 infections. After all, the IATF-DOH has given the LGUs the latitude to craft their own measures that could prevent the contagion especially with entry of the Delta variant.
The virus infections have gone up in the Province of Cebu, the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu and the other major cities of the country largely because of the laxity in the enforcement of the health protocols and the complacency of the majority after the vaccination.
Those who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus are already unworried and appearing haughty that they won't anymore wear face mask and face shield when in crowded places or when conversing with other persons despite the advice of health professionals and medical experts that the vaccine is not a guarantee from getting infected with this deadly virus.
Cebu City has 2,174 actives cases, according to the DOH-7 Case Bulletin #403 as of July 26, 2021, while Lapu-Lapu City has 972 cases and Mandaue City has 733. Reports have it that some big private hospitals in Cebu City and Mandaue City are already overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients.
The Province of Cebu used to have few cases of Covid-19 infections in the past weeks. But now, it has 1,931 cases and, in a manner of speaking, the Province of Cebu has overtaken the Province of Bohol with 1,751 cases, and Negros Oriental with 1,084 cases. Negros Oriental used to top the ladder in Central Visayas in the past weeks in the cases of infections.
Perhaps, the Province of Cebu could learn from the Province of Negros Oriental on what they have done to reduce their cases of infection when on July 9, 2021, it reached 3,639 cases, while the Province of Cebu at this time only had 701 cases. But the Province of Bohol had 2,224 cases. We still have to hear from the feisty Governor Gwen Garcia on what measures she will implement in the municipalities and component cities to avert the rise of infections.
The business sector supports more stringent measures that the LGUs would impose in curbing the rise of the coronavirus infections, but without necessarily locking down the businesses. Felix Taguiam, speaking on behalf of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) as its president, said they back the return of the liquor ban and the adjustment of the curfew hours in Cebu City from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. until 4 a.m.
The measures imposed by Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan are laudable and deserve to be replicated by the other LGUs. Effective July 26 and until August 25, 2021, only those who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus could enter the malls, department stores, convenience stores and public markets. This measure could also oblige those hardheaded and false believers to be vaccinated.
All form of sports, contact and non-contact, and gatherings like Zumba, group exercises, fiestas and general assemblies, work-related conferences, trainings and other activities that attract crowd are not allowed. This means that pulong-pulongs by politicos, which is now happening in other places, cannot be done in Lapu-Lapu City.
Apprehensions by some that these new measures that Mayor Chan imposed could invite him more enemies especially with the coming general elections is a trapo (traditional politician) mindset. In this time of health pandemic, politicians with political will should consider the health of their constituents than their future in politics. Could we name a few? Maybe, later.