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Cebu News

Cebu City emergency operations center says:Keep stay home rule

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman
Cebu City emergency operations center says:Keep stay home rule
Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC’s deputy chief implementer, said adopting the IATF decision is untimely considering the city’s more pressing problem – the rise in the number of its COVID-19 active cases.

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City should maintain status quo with its stay at home order, the Emergency Operations Center (ECO) said yesterday following the decision of the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to allow those between 10 to 65 years old in areas under the modified general community quarantine to step out of their homes starting February 1, 2021.

Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC’s deputy chief implementer, said adopting the IATF decision is untimely considering the city’s more pressing problem – the rise in the number of its COVID-19 active cases.

“Considering sad ron sa Cebu City nga ningtaas atong mga kaso tungod sa holiday, I believe dili timely nga atong ma-implementar karon, pero we are mindful nianang dapita because that’s the only way nga mobalik gyud ta sa new normal,” Garganera said.

“Mulingkawas na sab ta nianing atong problema karon nga nagkataas atong kaso ron. Ato sa nang sulbaron… let us be sensitive with the situation,” he added.

Malacañang announced on Friday that IATF has allowed those between 10 to 65 years old in areas under MGCQ areas to step out of their homes, easing restrictions meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Beginning February 1, 2021, when provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities shall be placed under their new community quarantine classifications, age-based restrictions for areas placed under Modified General Community Quarantine shall be relaxed,” reads IATF resolution 95.

Previously, only those 15 to 65 years old were allowed to go out, with the exception of work, getting necessities and vacationing in certain areas.

Garganera said even with the IATF pronouncement, it is still the local government unit that has the final say on whether or not to implement.

“In IATF’s provisions, the LGUs have the final say, kay they are more aware of the situation… mas kahibawo sila sa sitwasyon on the ground,” Garganera said.

“Kami dinhi sa EOC, mahingusganon kami nga magdumili niana sa pagkakaron… moabot nang panahona but considering sa atong kahimtang karon… let us also be sensitive sad sa atong kahimtang karon. Ato sa ning sulbaron and then, puhon, rest assured, we will entertain that nga ablihon nato,” he said.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama who was acting mayor until Friday, January 22, told The Freeman that changing the age restriction in the city’s stay at home order to reflect the decision of IATF would also need an executive order from the mayor.

Mayor Edgardo Labella is expected to return to work Saturday, January 23, following a leave of absence due to an ear infection.

State

Cebu City has been under MGCQ since September last year.

Based on data from the Department of Health (DOH)-7, Cebu City’s number of active cases rose to 702 after it logged 60 new cases on January 21, 2021. A bit of good news is that it also logged 47 additional recoveries.

In EOC’s own monitoring, the city has 687 active cases, including the 60 new ones, with 350 patients now isolated at the Noah Complex. Fifty-four others are at IC3, 46 are in hospitals, and the rest are at other DOH-accredited facilities.

Cebu City also recorded 12 deaths in January alone.

There are now 59 barangays in Cebu City with active infection and 21 others left without transmission in the last 14 days.

Because of the spike, the city has decided to put back borders controls in barangays to monitor residents and stop violators of quarantine protocols.

Cultural Values

Meanwhile, DOH-7 chief pathologist and spokesperson, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, believes that the lowering of the age restriction is based on the clamor of parents, as well as cultural values of Filipinos.

“I believe it is also because of the clamor of parents that if they want to go out, they also want to bring their children with them. Kabalo naman ka sa atong mga cultural values as Filipinos,” Loreche said.

Loreche, though, encourages parents to inculcate in the minds of the young the preventive measures against COVID-19 and make sure that children follow the minimum health standards set including wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing and washing of hands. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, JMO (FREEMAN)

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
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