Sunday, December 05, 2021

Espinoza: It's indeed alarming

Free Zone

WHAT now? Is the question that some concerned Cebuanos have asked themselves after the Province of Cebu topped the chart in the number of Covid-19 cases. Many are now speculating that Cebu would soon be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), just like Metro Manila. Currently, the province is under the general community quarantine (GCQ), a lower category of the modified enhanced community (MECQ), which is imposed on the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

The August 9, 2021 DOH-Central Visayas Covid-19 Bulletin showed that Cebu has 4,408 active cases with 187 new cases. Bohol has 2,181 with 30 new cases, Negros Oriental with 804 and zero new case, and Siquijor with only 28 active cases and one new case. Cebu City now has 3,656 active cases with 269 new cases. Lapu-Lapu City has 1,679 active cases with 124 new cases, while Mandaue City has 1,462 cases and 54 new cases. There are 40 reported deaths for the region.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergerie on Monday, August 9, said that Cebu had 664 new infections, followed by Cavite with 556, Laguna with 528, Bulacan 487, and Quezon City with 431. Central Visayas ranks third nationwide in the highest number of new cases at 1,412 on Sunday, August 8.

The GCQ for Cebu province will end on August 15, 2021. That the Province of Cebu will be placed under ECQ, just like Metro Manila, or maybe MECQ is not remote. The provincial authorities still have at least five days from today to ebb the rise of the Covid-19 cases before the IATF could perhaps impose ECQ or MECQ. One effective measure is the strict enforcement of the health protocols that were somehow sidelined during the MGCQ.

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia during her virtual meeting with the town and component city mayors on Monday, August 9, ordered a granular lockdown per purok instead of per barangay in a town of component city, which is commendable because why let the entire residents of a barangay suffer the consequences of a lockdown when, let's say only five or 10 persons are found positive for the virus.

But aside from this granular lockdown measure, how's the vaccine rollout in the province going, Dr. Christina Giango? How many of the townsfolk have been vaccinated against Covid-19?

Workers in all types of business belong to A4 category for vaccination. But cooks and food attendants of a restaurant in Danao City that I know are yet to receive their first jab of the vaccine despite that they have been registered a month ago. Why is this happening when according to IATF, all the A4s will all be vaccinated by July? Something must be done about this governor.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera and deputy head of the EOC described the current situation in the city as alarming. "We are not in a good shape. It's alarming, it's very alarming," sighs Garganera in a press conference. Since June up to August 8, the EOC recorded 7,596 Covid-19 cases with 151 mortalities. An ECQ for Cebu City is not remote after August 15. But to keep the economy working, the City Government should apply the granular lockdown.

I totally agree with Councilor Garganera that the situation in Cebu City is alarming. But why is the enforcement of the proper wearing of face mask and face shield in stores and public markets is lax? The face mask of the hard-ass fish vendors in a public market in Talamban are on their chin or neck. I didn't mind them, but I did not buy from them. So, that's probably where the problem is Councilor Garganera.


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