9 Cebu areas under Alert Level 1 on May 16-31

·5 min read

THE Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has placed nine areas in Cebu Island under Alert Level 1, the lowest quarantine status in the country, from May 16 to 31, 2022.

Under Level 1 are the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, and the towns of Alcoy, Borbon, Oslob, Pilar, Santander, and Tudela in Cebu Province. In Central Visayas, under the same level are the province of Siquijor; and the towns of Calape, Garcia Hernandez, San Isidro, and San Miguel in Bohol; and Bacong, Dauin, Valencia (Luzarriaga), and Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental.

Borbon Mayor Mayor Noel Dotillos said they are glad with the deescalation, although he stressed that the minimum public health standards should still be observed such as the wearing of face masks and social distancing.

Despite the easing of restrictions, Dotillos said he will not be giving permits to conduct disco, particularly during fiesta celebrations, saying they must not be complacent even if there are several vaccinated residents in the town.

Missing target

Explaining why only six local government units (LGUs) in Cebu Province have been placed under Alert Level 1, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche of the Department of Health (DOH) 7 said their data showed that the majority of LGUs still had not met the target of senior citizens and the general population to vaccinate.

Loreche, DOH 7 chief pathologist, said LGUs must ramp up their Covid-19 vaccination, citing vaccine hesitancy as the big factor in the low turnout.

“There are people who still do not believe that vaccines work and save lives. There are also those who think they don’t need it,” she said.

Loreche, however, stressed that LGUs had done what they could, particularly by giving incentives, having the vaccination done at the purok level and even house-to-house.

Cebu City

In Cebu City, there are 67 barangays that have zero transmission of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), and this showed how the local government unit managed the pandemic, said Councilor Joel Garganera.

Garganera, who also serves as the deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said Monday, May 16 that the Covid-19 cases in the city continued to subside even after the general elections last May 9.

“Our cases are decreasing. I do not believe, and I do not buy the idea that cases will rise after the elections,” Garganera said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Garganera further said the retention of the city’s alert level status is also the result of the high percentage of vaccinated individuals.

The vaccination drive has already exceeded the target population, and the percentage of vaccinated senior citizens in Cebu City is one of the highest in the country, he added.

On May 15, only two of the 467 individuals tested came out positive for Covid-19, bringing the daily positivity rate to 0.43 percent.

Mask-wearing voters

Garganera said despite the massive gathering of people wanting to vote in different polling centers, the transmission of the coronavirus has remained low because the voters wore their face masks on Election Day.

Sixty-seven barangays in the city reported no Covid-19 transmission on May 15.

According to the EOC data, the remaining barangays with active Covid-19 cases included Basak-Pardo, Mabolo, Tisa, Guadalupe, Camputhaw, Luz, Babag, Capitol Site, Inayawan, Kinasang-an Pardo, Lorega-San Miguel, Quiot and Labangon.

Despite this, Garganera still urged the public to follow the minimum health protocols and avail themselves of free vaccination from the City Government.

“Our cases reflect (the status of the pandemic) ... We are data-driven. (But) Covid-19 is still here ... we should not be complacent. Let us still be mindful,” said Garganera.

Other areas

Other areas in the Visayas that are under Alert Level 1 are Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Bacolod City and Iloilo City in Western Visayas; and Biliran, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Ormoc City, Tacloban City, and the towns of Tarangnan, Samar and Zumarraga in Samar in Eastern Visayas.

In Luzon, placed under the same level are Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Baguio City and Kiangan, Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan and Dagupan City in Ilocos; Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and City of Santiago in Cagayan Valley; Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Angeles City and Olongapo City in Central Luzon; Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Lucena City in Calabarzon; Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon and Puerto Princesa City in Mimaropa; and Albay, Catanduanes, Naga City, Balud in Masbate and Irosin in Sorsogon in Bicol Region.

In Mindanao, Zamboanga City and the towns of Mahayag in Zamboanga del Sur and Diplahan in Zamboanga Sibugay; Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City in Northern Mindanao; Davao City in Davao Region; Kalamansig in Sultan Kudarat in Soccsksargen; and Surigao del Sur, Butuan City and Upi in Maguindanao have kept their Alert Level 1 status.

All restrictions in areas under Alert Level 1, including those on travel, venue or transportation capacity, are removed. All businesses are also allowed to operate.

Under Alert Level 2, meanwhile, are the following areas:

LUZON

* CAR: Benguet, Ifugao

* Calabarzon: Quezon Province

* Mimaropa: Occidental Mindoro and Palawan

* Bicol: Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, and Sorsogon

VISAYAS

* Western Visayas: Antique and Negros Occidental

* Central Visayas: Bohol, Cebu Province, and Negros Oriental

* Eastern Visayas: Leyte, Northern Samar, and Western Samar

MINDANAO

* Zamboanga Peninsula: City of Isabela, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte Zamboanga Sibugay

* Northern Mindanao: Lanao del Norte

* Davao Region: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro Davao Occidental

* Soccsksargen: General Santos City, North Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato

* Caraga: Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte

* Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Basilan, Cotabato City, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi

(TPM, LMY, IRT, MKG)

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