Cebu City reports 930 new coronavirus cases on first week back on lockdown

Ryan Macasero
Cebu City reports 930 new coronavirus cases on first week back on lockdown
The city also reports 44 deaths in one week, more than half of the 81 total deaths

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu city marked 930 new cases and 44 new deaths on its first week back on lockdown.

The following lists the new cases per day in Cebu City:

  • Monday, June 15 – 123
  • Tuesday, June 16 – 203 
  • Wednesday, June 17 – 201
  • Thursday, June 18 – 122 
  • Friday, June 19 – 104 
  • Saturday, June 20 – 129
  • Sunday, June 21 – 48

The city also added 44 more deaths in its first week of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), almost doubling the number of deaths to 81.

On Monday, June 22, 37 new cases brought the total new cases up to 4,449 in Cebu City alone. Of that number, 2,221 cases are still active.

Police officers among new deaths; health workers infected

At least 2 officers died after contracting the virus on Monday, June 15.

A total of 28 have tested so far for the virus so far with 20 recoveries.

According to a statement from the Cebu City Police Office on Monday, June 22, at least 19 of the recovered officers have already returned to work.

The number of Health workers infected is now at 138, according to a Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH-7) bulletin released on June 17. This is the latest update with health worker infections provided by DOH-7.

Of that number, 37 are nurses, 17 are physicians, 4 are medical technicians, and 15 are administrative support staff, among others.

The Cebu Medical Society, a doctors organization in Cebu affiliated with the Philippine Medical Association, urged local government units not to “downplay” the virus.

“We gently recommend to our public officials and fellow Cebuanos not to downplay the veracity of this contagion,” CMS said in its statement on Wednesday, June 17.

The statement came after reports hospitals were being filled to maximum capacity with COVID-19 patients yet LGUs have been pushing for a less restrictive quarantine status. 

LGU chiefs report infections

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan was the first mayor to report testing positive for coronavirus on Friday, June 12

Chan has been working from home since he disclosed his coronavirus status. 

Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura announced he tested positive for the virus on Sunday, June 21. He got tested after experiencing influenza-like symptoms. (READ: Daanbantayan mayor tests positive for coronavirus)

According to a report in Cebu Daily News, Dumanjug town Mayor Efren Gica’s family, – including both of his parents, his sibling and his partner, – tested positive for the virus on Thursday, June 18.  

Gica himself did not report if he was also positive for coronavirus. 

National government to investigate Cebu outbreak

On Saturday, June 20, the national government plans to assess how the city’s local officials are handling the pandemic, as the numbers continue to rise, while Metro Manila is seeing a slow-down in the spread of the virus.

The IATF’s Resolution No. 47 states that the evaluation began on Monday, June 22 and will continue until June 28.

The evaluation will include an “assessment of the possibility of instituting an NTF Emergency Operation Center and designation of a Visayas Deputy Implementer for Region VII and the entire Visayas.” (READ: National task force to ‘evaluate’ Cebu City’s COVID-19 response)

The national government is taking these actions despite Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella’s insistence that the contagion is under control in Cebu City

But a University of the Philippines (UP) study was clear in showing Cebu City has a coronavirus reproduction number of 2, almost double than Metro Manila’s 0.96 at the time, after 3 months in lockdown.

The UP study estimates that Cebu City and the province could hit 11,000 cases by the end of the month. (READ: ‘Cause for concern’: Experts project 11,000 coronavirus cases in Cebu by June 30)

Prior to the new lockdown, officials have been pushing for the less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ) so businesses could open back up. 

But it looks like a change of status will not happen before June 30, when the ECQ status of Cebu CIty expires.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque responded to Labella’s appeal to return to GCQ last week.

“When the President made an announcement, that’s already final. We need to wait for the end of the month for the new classification,” Roque said on Wednesday, June 17.

Data from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) showed the following:

  • Hospitals at full capacity
  • 45% of 60 mechanical ventilators are in use in Cebu City hospitals.
  • All intensive care unit beds, a total of 27, are in use.
  • 90% of the 399 isolation beds are occupied.
  • 93% of the 133 ward beds in hospitals are being used.

DOH-7 said they were already working on expanding the hospital’s COVID-19 ward capacities and increasing staffing.

As of Monday, June 22, the Philippines hit 30,682 cases after 630 new coronavirus infections were reported. UP predicts the country will hit 40,000 cases by the end of the month if the government is unable to contain the virus’ spread. – Rappler.com

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.