GCQ in Cebu province takes effect on May 20

Ryan Macasero
GCQ in Cebu province takes effect on May 20


While the province is downgraded to a general community quarantine as a 'moderate-risk' area, the province remains on lockdown until May 20 pending a new executive order

CEBU, Philippines – A general community quarantine (GCQ) in Cebu province will take effect on Wednesday, May 20, while guidelines are still being drafted by Cebu Province.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) classified Cebu province as a medium-risk area and downgraded their status from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine.

Mayors of the local government units met in Balamban town on Friday, May 15, to discuss protocols before Governor Gwen Garcia would release her executive order guidelines. (READ: Task force to draft rules for Cebu’s ‘new normal’ post-quarantine)

“I think, it’s wrong to consider that because positive cases are high, we should be afraid,” Garcia said in Cebuano.

Garcia’s basis for the statement was that for a province of 3.2 million residents, the mortality rate for coronavirus is below 1%, or 8 total deaths so far. 

However, the Philippines’ mortality rate of 6.6% is among the highest mortality rates in Southeast Asia.

Department of Health (DOH)-7 Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas pointed out that a number of these COVID-19-related deaths were “incidental.” 

The province currently has 55 confirmed coronavirus cases in its municipalities and component cities with 111 cases in Mandaue City, and 49 in Lapu-Lapu City. 

As of Monday, May 18, Cebu City currently has the highest number coronavirus cases in the region at 1,749, according to the Cebu City Health Office.

While Cebu City is the capital of Cebu province, it is an independent city. 

“We cannot treat this as a deadly virus, it is not,” Garcia said.

There have been 315,000 deaths from the coronavirus worldwide. 

According to Garcia, the virus froze the local economy and delayed infrastructure projects in the province like road concreting and repairs on water service lines.

Restaurants will be allowing dine-in again at 50% of the usual capacity, she said. 

Malls and shopping are allowed limited operations. 

Cebu City and Mandaue City are the only cities left that will be under ECQ until May 31. (READ: Cebu City, Mandaue City now under ECQ until May 31)

As of Monday, May 18, there are 12,718 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines, with 831 deaths and 2,729 recoveries.– Rappler.com

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com