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Residents told to remain vigilant even with downward trend in cases in Cebu City
“We are experiencing a plateau in the last week. In fact, ang atong trend niubos gyud sya. Pinaka-top barangay with the most number of cases from 241, karon, 137 nalang, ang Guadalupe. Siya na lang ang nagpabiling three digits, the rest two digits na lang,” said Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Residents told to remain vigilant even with downward trend in cases in Cebu City

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - March 9, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Like in the fourth quarter of 2020 when its number of new COVID-19 cases went down, Cebu City once again reminded its residents not to be complacent now that the trend in cases has plateaued.

“We are experiencing a plateau in the last week. In fact, ang atong trend niubos gyud sya. Pinaka-top barangay with the most number of cases from 241, karon, 137 nalang, ang Guadalupe. Siya na lang ang nagpabiling three digits, the rest two digits na lang,” said Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Over the weekend, the OCTA Research Group noted a downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Cebu City in the first week of March, almost a month since the city recorded its highest number of new cases in 2021, so far, in February.

“The number of new COVID-19 cases in Cebu City dropped for the first time, indicating that the pandemic has reversed its trend in the area,” OCTA said.

Cebu City was tagged as area of concern owing to a resurgence of cases since January – up to 263 cases on February 24 alone.

By March 6, the highest number of new cases in a day dropped to 172. The city logged 160 new cases on March 1; 151 cases on March 2; 159 cases on March 3; 143 cases on March 4; 172 cases on March 5; and 161 cases on March 6.

But Garganera was quick to remind residents to continue to be mindful of minimum health protocols, especially with new variants of the coronavirus entering the country.

“Dili ni siya rason para mag-complacent ta labi na nga sa Manila, nagkalain-lain na lang nga variants nangabot didto. If it happens there, there is no reason nga di pud na muabot diri sa atoa,” Garganera said.

Restaurants

To better prevent transmission, Garganera is asking the Philippine National Police together with the Task Force Kasaligan to check on restaurants as the city has noticed “overcapacity” especially on weekends.

Based on the executive order issued by Mayor Edgardo Labella, restaurants may operate at 75 percent capacity.

But physical distancing, for one, remains is a must, Garganera said, because it is when people eat when they remove their masks and shields and talk to their companions – an easy way for the virus to spread.

“Dili nato i-sakripisyo ang social distancing. Kani gung mangaon ta, this is the time that we lower our guardsMao gyud ni usa sa hinungdan sa atong transmission ron,” added Garganera.

Garganera said he understands that restaurants and other businesses are struggling to bring back profits they lost during last year’s lockdowns but observance of required protocols remains imperative.

“Nasayod ko, on weekdays, mingaw… mamawi sila during weekends but, then again, we should not be sacrificing safety,” Garganera said.

Status

Garganera said that while a plateau in the number of new cases is good news, the city still records three digits per day and many of these cases are without known sources of infection.

“We have to be mindful… 3 digits gihapon ta and most cases ra ba, new cases… lisod… wa ta kabalo dis-a sila gikan,” Garganera said.

Based on the Department of Health (DOH)-7’s March 7 data, Cebu City has 3,364 total active cases.

According to EOC data, cases are spread in 71 of the city’s 80 barangays.

While the city is yet to roll out its own vaccination program, Garganera said the best weapon against COVID-19 is observing minimum health standards, including the wearing of mask and face shields, regular washing of hands, and social distancing.

“Atong hinagiban samtang layo pa ang roll out… let’s go back to the basics and following the minimum health standards set,” he said. — JMO  (FREEMAN)

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