Briones: Cautiously optimistic

·2 min read

IN CEBU City, police have observed that coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases are low in barangays where their personnel are vigilant against quarantine violators.

Cebu City and the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu are under modified enhanced community quarantine, the second most stringent quarantine level, to slow down Covid-19 infection, which, in the past few weeks, has been running rampant.

But you wouldn’t think it by looking around.

Meanwhile, City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center, has pointed to the number of new cases steadily going down in recent days. For the most part, that is, because there have been a couple of spikes in the last two weeks.

Still, that seems to be the general trend, judging by figures released by the Department of Health (DOH) 7 daily case bulletin, which, by the way, do not agree with EOC figures.

I mean, the EOC is saying that Cebu City has 3,406 active cases, as of Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, which is considerably lower than the DOH 7’s 4,664 for the same day.

Don’t get me wrong. Both numbers are still high. But when you take into account the city’s total population of around one million, then it’s not so much.

Of course, Garganera and the Cebu City Police Office have not factored in all those people who are probably positive and are sick but refuse to get tested because they don’t want to be extracted from their homes and brought to an isolation facility or a quarantine hotel or wherever.

Or maybe they have and they just don’t want to address the “elephant in the room” or even think about it.

So it looks like it’s going to be a while before Cebu City and the rest of the island will get out of the woods, which is why even Garganera is cautiously optimistic.

Pandemics can be unpredictable. Like, duh!

Still, life has to go on. That’s what authorities and naysayers have to remember.

There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who lead a hand-to-mouth existence. At this point, many are suffering from pandemic fatigue.

So when the DOH 7 announced on Tuesday, Aug. 24, that all the 19 recently recorded Covid-19 cases caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant in Central Visayas are from Cebu, they’re probably saying, “And?”

Are they supposed to lock themselves inside their rooms and hope the virus won’t get them?

No. But those who don’t have to go outside should stay inside. And when they do have to step out, they should comply with proven safety and health measures. Better yet, they should get vaccinated.

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