WATCH: What Metro Manila can learn from Cebu City’s COVID-19 response
WATCH: What Metro Manila can learn from Cebu City’s COVID-19 response
Rappler Cebu bureau reporter Ryan Macasero explains in this video how Cebu City flattened the curve

In June, Cebu City caught the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte because of the soaring number of COVID-19 cases here, overwhelming the city’s healthcare system.

At the time – when active cases hit over 5,000 – Duterte said it was due to the “stubborn” Cebuanos who were too “relaxed” and “slow.” He sent Secretary Roy Cimatu to oversee the city’s COVID-19 response. (READ: DENR chief Roy Cimatu to oversee Cebu City’s COVID-19 response)

Independent COVID-19 researchers called Cebu City a “second epicenter” in the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

After arriving in Cebu, the national Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) assessed where Cebu went wrong in its initial response and then institutionalized reforms in how the local government should stem the spread of the virus. 

By September 7, the regional Department of Health said Cebu City had flattened the curve.

As of October 23, the number of active coronavirus cases in Cebu are down to 213, of which 9 are new cases. This is out of a total of 10,205 cases. 

From late August to early October, the city also began closing – at least temporarily – isolation centers and clustered clinics due to the drop in the number of patients reporting influenza-like illnesses.

How did Cebu City do it and what lessons can Metro Manila learn from Cebu’s coronavirus response?

Check out our in-depth series, too, on how Cebu City nearly averted a health disaster and flattened its curve. 

Note: The video mistakenly mentioned that Cebu City has around 2.8 million population. The number is referring to Metro Cebu. Cebu City only has around 1 million population. We apologize for the oversight.

PART 1 | How Cebu City almost became the Philippines’ coronavirus epicenter
Part 2 | Averting disaster: How Cebu City flattened its curve


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