Business groups call for heightened preventive measures against new Covid-19 variant

·2 min read

WITH the entry of the new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus, the business community in Cebu called to further strengthen the province’s preventive measures.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said talks and meetings held recently by the chamber and the local government units were centered on the new variant of Covid-19 which was first discovered in the United Kingdom.

“We, in the Project Balik Buhay Group, are very concerned about this. This is a totally new variant, with the first known case in Quezon City. Let’s all hope that the new virus will not reach us here,” he told SunStar Cebu.

The Philippines detected its first patient with the new variant on Wednesday, Jan. 13, after the patient, who arrived from the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 7, tested Covid-positive.

Taguiam said they are monitoring the recent uptick in cases in Cebu.

“As we may all know, our economy is picking up lately, though not 100 percent. But we are seeing more trade being done,” he said.

Taguiam reminded the public to follow the health and safety protocols set by the health department and other agencies.

“That’s the only way to go, which is the wearing of masks, face shields, washing of hands and social distancing,” he said.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu, on the other hand, said the cancellation of Sinulog activities and novena masses, which attract crowds, would greatly benefit the province in the prevention of the Covid-19 spread.

“We, in the business and private sectors, support the move to continually espouse the practice of health and safety protocols at all times, even post-vaccine. For now, our new case rates are stabilizing from last week’s, so there is no cause for concern yet,” he said.

Yu advised the public to continually be cautious but also to continue their livelihood.

“Once herd immunity is attained, we can open the borders and economy fully. The wearing of masks and constant washing of hands should continue,” he said.

Rey Calooy, chairman of the Filipino Cebuano Business Club, said with the ingrained habit of protocols against the coronavirus, the province has an advantage.

“The people are now educated that this virus variant is more contagious and dangerous, so they are disciplined to follow the protocols implemented by our authorities,” he said. / JOB