Rama says ECQ passes only complicate things

Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - March 30, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Vice Mayor Micheal Rama said the quarantine passes being distributed to residents are not needed and only create confusion, as he suggested that efforts be focused instead on contact tracing and mass testing.

Effective March 28, Cebu City was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), and the city government has started the distribution of ECQ passes to the residents.

“The ECQ is the mayor’s call, but I am not comfortable with the quarantine pass because I find it not needed, and it will only cause confusion. Why complicate when you can simplify?” said Rama.

Rama said that instead organizing initiatives that may cause people to gather, the barangays should be empowered to take the responsibility in making the people stay at home.

“That is where the responsibility of the barangays comes in — by handling checkpoints, all the residents need is their personal identification card, and do the essential task, then head home,” he added.

Rama said that in terms of passes, what should be given priority is the distribution of boarder passes.

Since the city has already declared ECQ, people are ordered to stay at home, the vice mayor said.

“For me people are already in their houses. If they want to buy, just let them buy,” he said.

“What I wish for the city to do right now is to focus on the sanitation of the hospitals, building quarantine facilities, contact tracing, isolating, and a stricter implementation of the social distancing,” he said further.

“But what are we doing now? We are bringing people together, we are creating events that may violate the social distancing order,” he added.

Rama said that once there will be enough facilities, the testings shall follow. He added that a comprehensive ordinance should be made to apprehend those who will violate the orders and rules imposed by the government.

“We are in a localized martial law. Please stay at home, do not go out and do not be attracted to events. The time is serious, call of the time is obedience. Let us trust the government, the barangays, local health workers and observe social distancing,” said Rama.

The City Council will hold a session this Wednesday to discuss matters related to the virus.  JMD (FREEMAN)

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