EDITORIAL - Cimatu’s challenge

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - Cimatuâs challenge

The number of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City are on the rise again, and the man who oversaw the first time we brought it down, former general and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, has issued a challenge to the city’s barangay captains.

“We have done it before. There is no reason we cannot do it now,” Cimatu was quoted as telling the barangay captains during a virtual meeting.

His advice was to strengthen the implementation of existing health protocols at their level.

As we keep mentioning, as the days pass we see more and more lax discipline when it comes to securing ourselves and our loved one against COVID. We only have to look outside to see that it’s as if life has normalized and there is no global pandemic going on.

We have too many people in the streets and in public, too many people not wearing face masks or face shields properly, too many young kids outside unsupervised.

Now more than ever we have more reason to be concerned; there are new variants of COVID-19 spreading, including one strain first detected in the United Kingdom.

While earlier data seemed to suggest that this new variant was more contagious than the dominant variant but was not as deadly, more recent research indicates that we got it wrong; the new variant is actually deadlier than the dominant variant, aside from being more contagious.

And just in case people didn’t know, that UK variant has been detected here in the country. The number of cases indicates this variant has not reached community level transmission, but if action isn’t taken, like COVID, it may yet reach that stage.

Cimatu’s advice came with a warning; if we cannot arrest the rise in COVID-19 cases then we may see our return to square one.

And just in case there are those who don’t understand what square one means, that means a return to Enhanced Community Quarantine; no one except essential personnel leaving their homes, the closure of establishments, and even more restrictions.

This is something that many families and businesses can no longer afford.

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