Despite the post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella said he found no “compelling reason” to revert the city to general community quarantine (GCQ).
Labella said this in a virtual press conference on Wednesday, January 27, when asked if he thought of asking the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to put Cebu City back under GCQ.
The mayor explained that even if the city is under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the loosest quarantine restriction, the city government is still implementing measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
He cited the requirement of quarantine passes for residents, the prohibition of parties, and the enforcement of minimum health protocols.
“I don’t see any compelling reason why we should go back to GCQ,” Labella said.
“We are also doing our best and even if it’s MGCQ, we are not totally complacent. We are still very vigilant,” he added.
During the press conference, Labella said he was still mulling over the city police’ proposal to move the curfew an hour early, or from 11 pm to 10 pm.
He said while he was considering the suggestion, he still has to assess the impact of an earlier curfew on the business sector.
Why this matters
According to data from the Department of Health, Cebu City topped the list of local government units with the most number of daily cases on Tuesday, January 26, with 84 new cases.
As of Tuesday, Cebu City recorded a total of 12,079 COVID-19 cases, with 701 deaths and 10,332 recoveries. Of the total number of cases, 986 are active.
Cebu City was considered a hotspot for the coronavirus in June 2020, when it tallied hundreds of daily cases. There was a spike in cases after the city was placed under a looser quarantine restriction after being on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
With assistance from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, the city ramped up contact tracing, implemented movement restrictions and mass testing. The city was able to flatten the curve by September.
Cases started rising again early January, after Christmas and New Year celebrations. This trend continued with the celebration of the Sinulog Festival despite the cancellation of all physical events.
The city’s Emergency Operations Center attributed the rise in cases to private gatherings and parties over the holidays. – Rappler.com