Photo by Mark Perandos
Photo by Mark Perandos

Mayor hopes city will shift to GCQ to allow for more businesses to open

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the City Government is hoping the city's quarantine status would be downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ) with no heightened restrictions to allow more economic activities.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), with the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte, extended the GCQ with heightened restrictions of the city until August 31.

Duterte-Carpio said they were hoping that the city, by now, will be placed under a less strict GCQ.

“We hope to be downgraded to GCQ nalang. Wala ang (There will be no more) heightened restrictions. Hopefully mahatag na sa atoa sa IATF (the IATF will give it to us), but of course, we would accept kung unsa ang ilang i-classify nga community quarantine sa (whatever community quarantine status they would classify to) Davao City.”

The mayor added they still continue to trust the wisdom of the IATF in assessing the city's quarantine status.

"Not expecting, but hoping na GCQ ta (We are not expecting, but we are hoping that we would be under GCQ) because under GCQ it's much more... there are many businesses and activities that can operate sa (under) GCQ compared to a GCQ with heightened restrictions," she said.

"In relation na siya sa (This is in relation to the) economic or business activities diri sa atong siyudad sa (here in) Davao [City]. What we want is more open ang atong economic activities bisan nagpadayon atoang problem sa Covid-19 diri sa siyudad so that mabalanse nato ang (is that our economic activities will be more open even with the continuing problem of the Covid-19 so we can balance) business and pandemic," she added.

Under the GCQ with heightened restrictions, indoor dining is only allowed up to 20 percent seating capacity while al fresco or outdoor dining is permitted at 50 percent capacity. Tourist attractions in the area may also open at 30 percent capacity

Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio noted a decline of active cases in the city. However, the critical utilization rate is on the rise.

“Nagababa atong cases, however taas ang critical care utilization nato, meaning kanang severe and critical cases nato taas sila. Daghan sila sa atong hospitals (Our cases are going down, however, our critical care utilization rate is increasing. This means there are increasing patients of severe and critical cases. They are overwhelming our hospitals)," she said.

She added that most of the critical patients have comorbidities.

The mayor encouraged them to have themselves vaccinated as they are part of the Priority Group A3.

Based on the recent bed utilization rate of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), the hospital's bed and intensive care unit (IC) rate is at a "critical level."

Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser also revealed in a recent interview that the private hospital's ICU beds are nearly fully occupied.

The mayor said out of the 2,180 isolation facility beds, 650 are available.

Duterte-Carpio said the city’s health cluster and the Rapid Action Team is continuously reaching out to confirmed Covid-19 patients to be extracted to the city’s isolation facilities.

While waiting to be transported, the mayor encouraged patients to self-isolate within their houses.

According to the Department of Health-Davao Region, Davao City has a total of 33,229 confirmed cases, wherein 3,557 are active cases, 28,574 have recovered, and 1,098 succumbed from the virus.

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