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Garganera not keen on return to GCQ despite huge spike in cases in Cebu City
Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city's Emergency Operations Center.
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Garganera not keen on return to GCQ despite huge spike in cases in Cebu City

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - January 25, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Despite the huge spike in COVID-19 cases in Cebu City – 97 new cases on January 23 alone – the deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center is not keen on putting the city back under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Councilor Joel Garganera told The Freeman on Sunday, January 24, that he believes the city can “weather the storm” as long as residents cooperate.

“I don’t want to go back to GCG,” Garganera told The Freeman on Sunday, January 24.

Based on the Department of Health (DOH)-7 case bulletin on January 23, Cebu City has 845 active cases. EOC’s own data, meanwhile, records 828 active cases.

Both the DOH and EOC logged 97 new cases in their latest data.

This is the highest number of additional cases in a day since July 25 and the most number of total active cases since August 26.

At least 356 patients are being isolated at the NOAH Complex while 66 others are at IC3. Barangay Isolation Centers have also been utilized again with 53 patients already in quarantine. Forty-five other patients are at hospitals while the rest are at other DOH-accredited facilities.

There are now 60 barangays in Cebu City with active infection and only 20 others left without a case in the past 14 days.

The EOC is yet to provide a breakdown of the cases, particularly where infections have been most prevalent.

Despite this, Garganera is positive that the city can lower the number of cases back again.

“We can weather this storm pero dili na mahimo ug kami lang sa gobyerno. Kinahanglan mo-kooperar ang tanan,” he said.

He emphasized that the movement of people is the main factor in the spread of the virus, thus, residents must take it upon themselves to follow health and safety protocols strictly even without authorities monitoring.

“Ang naghatag og kinabuhi sa COVID mao ang movement ug behavior sa tao. Dili lang ta motuman sa protocol og naay police kun dili mo-practice gyud ta ug self-discipline,” Garganera said.

Less than two weeks ago, Mayor Edgardo Labella said he does not think there is a need to revert to GCQ “at this point” even with the rise on the daily COVID-19 cases being reported in the city.

“Everything is possible under the sun. But, at this point, I don’t think there is really a need for us to upgrade into GCQ. We are still very much far away from that situation unlike in other local governments,” said Labella in a press conference on January 11.

Should he have to make a decision, however, Labella said he would have to consult the people involved in the city’s COVID response.

“I would not just do it unilaterally without seeking the advice of the medical experts, the City Health Department, the Department of Health, certainly,” he said.

Cebu City has been under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) since September.

Labella said the city is prepared in case the number of cases would continue to rise.

“We are prepared. The city is prepared in case there is going to be a spike,” he said.

Regional Scenario

Meanwhile, in the same DOH-7 data on January 23, Mandaue City logged 22 new cases, Lapu-Lapu City logged nine, Cebu Province logged 59, Bohol logged two, and Negros Oriental logged 11.

These cases contributed to the 2,410 latest count of active cases in Region 7. Of this number, 845 are from Cebu City, 707 are from Negros Oriental, 523 are from Cebu Province, 205 are from Mandaue, 106 are from Lapu-Lapu, and three are from Siquijor.

The cumulative total cases in Region 7 has reached 27,275 of which 23,404 are recoveries. At least 1,461 have died. — Le Phyllis F. Antojado, JMO (FREEMAN)

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