Cebu News

More economic activities seen in Cebu City as COVID-19 indicators improve

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — With improved COVID-19 indicators for three weeks now, Cebu City can expect more economic activities spurring and more restrictions eased in the coming days, the Emergency Operations Center said.

The city’s latest positivity rate is 2.35%, with only 20 turning out positive out of 851 tested last October 23. This is lower than the World Health Organization threshold of 5%. The city’s active cases have also further dipped to less than 300.

For a city or country to resume most economic activities, a low positivity threshold has to be maintained for at least two weeks as suggested by experts.

EOC deputy chief implementer and City Councilor Joel Garganera has acknowledged the three-week period of low positivity rate as a good sign to ease restrictions. However, to be able to enjoy more activities and even contact sports, one has to be fully vaccinated, he said.

The city government is also considering lifting the negative RT-PCR or antigen test result requirement for inbound travelers.

“We’ve been within the WHO positivity rate for three weeks now. This is a good sign to ease restrictions ranging from travel requirements, increase capacity in enclosed establishments, and allow activities like contact sports and others but to fully vaccinated Individuals only,” said Garganera.

Garganera is also looking forward to the inoculation of minors soon so they can also dine in at enclosed spaces with their families. Cebu City’s active cases are now down to only 289.

The cases are spread to 48 of the 80 barangays, which means that 32 others have been on zero transmission.

The city’s critical care utilization rate is now down to 21.2%, with only one of the 15 hospitals remaining at a moderate risk level. Of the 753 COVID-19 dedicated beds, only 160 are occupied. Also, only 30.48% of the ICU beds are engaged.

With only a week left before the month’s end, monthly deaths in Cebu City have also gone down to 29, way lower than last month’s 128.

Rama agrees

Meanwhile, Acting Mayor Michael Rama has considered reopening cinemas soon already.

Rama told The FREEMAN that he wants to sit with the EOC regarding this matter.

“I want to have a specific discussion about ana (reopening of cinemas) with EOC. We are not close to that idea. We’re not. Same sa kato bitawng inbound (travel requirement),” said Rama.

He clarified though that these may not happen all at once since the EOC is doing the assessment over different activities one at a time.

“I don’t want to say ugma dayon, but kinhanglan mo-come in gyud ang EOC para dili ta mo-open unya mo-close pa,” said Rama.

Rama said more activities will resume and restrictions eased in Cebu City since it has already been classified under alert level 2 of the expanded pilot testing of the new alert level for Covid-19 quarantine classification.

Rama said what Cebu City needs right now is to have at least 70% of its senior population and those with comorbidities fully vaccinated. — JMD (FREEMAN)


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