CEBU Governor Gwen Garcia got the flak from a netizen and some public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers on her executive order requiring the drivers to wear the air purifier necklace when operating the PUVs. The deadline was on August 15, but it was moved to August 25 because of the lack of supply of this item. This, despite the opinion of the Department of Health (DOH) that air purifier does not reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
The governor was also criticized for not campaigning for the inoculation of the townsfolk. Perhaps, it's understandable that the governor could not campaign and urge the townsfolk to go and get vaccinated because she herself is still unvaccinated. She even publicly said that she would defend the rights of those who do not want to because vaccination is a personal choice.
Although the Province of Cebu is under the general community quarantine (ECQ) status with supposedly heightened restrictions, but the Covid-19 cases has spiked. Governor Garcia just issued Executive Order 40 that takes effect today and that requires RT-PCR test or rapid antigen test for domestic and international travelers, including authorized persons outside of residence (Apor) that enter Cebu in all seaports and airport. Travelers within the island of Cebu is exempted from this test though.
Despite the current efforts of the Provincial Government to contain the contagion, the active cases of Covid-19 are, however, steadily going up. As of Monday, August 16, 2021, Cebu Province has 5,161 active cases with 351 new cases and a total of 1,225 deaths, while Negros Oriental went down to 771 active cases with one new case and 225 total deaths. Bohol has 1,408 active cases with 72 new cases and 92 deaths. Siquijor has always the lowest number of Covid-19 cases with only 19 active cases and four deaths.
Cebu City tops the chart with 200 new cases and 4,099 active cases and total of 1,055 deaths. Mandaue City has 1,759 active cases with 47 new cases and 279 deaths, while Lapu-Lapu City has 115 new cases with 1,731 active cases and a total of 264 deaths. Under the present circumstances, I simply cannot help but ask, are the hurried and stringent efforts now imposed by the local government units (LGUs) not too late after several months of being so lax in enforcing the minimum health protocols?
This is not to blame the LGUs because it's also the bounden obligation of the people to obey and comply with the health protocols to prevent the contagion. But the usual and recurring problem is that only few souls are compliant while the majority are hard-ass deniers. Worse, these unbelievers taunt those who comply with the health protocols.
Perhaps, this year may not be bad as last year because of the arrival of the vaccine against Covid-19. The Delta variant scare and the threat of the LGUs that unvaccinated would have less privileges, like entering malls, prodded the hesitant to be vaccinated that they swarmed the different vaccination sites in the country. Still, the number of inoculated is not enough to attain the herd immunity.
According to the statistics of IATF-DOH, 27,806,881 doses of the anti-Covid-19 vaccines have been administered nationwide. A total of 12,565,017 Filipinos already received their first and second doses of the vaccine while a total of 15,241,864 received their first dose. I wonder how many probinsyanos have been vaccinated in the Province of Cebu. If it's not too much to ask, could the feisty governor lead by example by having herself inoculated publicly?