DOH-7 gave wrong Talisay data to IATF?
Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - June 18, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas yesterday said that miscommunication between agencies may have led to the decision putting his city under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) through June 30.

He said that he had learned from National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez that the decision was based on the data submitted by DOH-7.

“Motubag siya nako, ‘it was… the data given to us by DOH, by the epidemiologists,’” Gullas said during a meeting with Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Department of Health-7 Director Jaime Bernadas, and other mayors yesterday.

Gullas added that he learned that one of the factors considered by the task force in its decision was the supposed information that Talisay had no recoveries.

“I've learned that one of the bases for the decision was data given by DOH. One of the data didto was that I had zero recoveries,” he said, adding this is not true.

Bernadas, however, refuted the claim by saying DOH-7 had already recorded 16 recoveries from Talisay then.

“We disown that data because… the record of the DOH was 16,” he clarified.

“It was never zero,” he stressed.

Talisay now has 50 recoveries, as of yesterday, according to Gullas. Its cases stand at 126, of which 57 are active. Talisay's COVID-related deaths have also reached 19.

Garcia, for her part, will appeal to the IATF in Central Visayas to downgrade Talisay City’s status from MECQ to general community quarantine (GCQ).

“We need your concurrence sa IATF (Region 7) nga atong i-lift ang MECQ status sa Talisay para mabalik og GCQ, like the rest of Cebu province,” Garcia told Bernadas yesterday.

Mayors present in the meeting also agreed to the proposal.

Section F of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Resolution No. 30 Series 2020 authorizes the provincial governor to “authorize, lift and extend” ECQ in component cities and municipalities upon the concurrence of the regional counterpart body of the IATF.

President Duterte, announcing the decision of IATF on Monday, said that Talisay is under MECQ until June 30.

No Closure

In a separate development, while Cebu City is now back to ECQ, the province will not be closing its borders on residents working in the city.

Workers will still have to present their company ID and certificate of employment from their employers in checkpoints.

Garcia encouraged mayors to issue an executive order requiring workers who cross the borders to practice steam inhalation or “tuob” before departing for work and upon their arrival home.

“Dili man pud ni mahimo nga nagsige na lang ta og sira. Dili na pud makatrabaho. Mosamot kalisod ang kahimtang sa atong mga kaigsuonan,” she said.

“The key is protect yourself. You may be carrying this but if you have a strong immune system makaya na nimo,” she added. JMD (FREEMAN)

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