Bzzzzz: VM, EAM Rama, asked if 'kaya ba,' says Cebu City is not a city if it can't cope with Delta. Acting Mayor Mike gives 'marching order' to 'my foot generals'

·3 min read

Beds with no medical people

FIRST, the question on many people's minds about room at the hospitals.

Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) chief Councilor Joel Garganera admitted that two private hospitals are in critical situation as to admission of Covid-19 patients. Images of cars queuing outside the hospitals, with an oxygen tank for each patient in the vehicle came to everyone's mind as the problem of critical care was raised at the acting mayor's press-con Monday, August 2.

But here's the spin: They say there are "enough bed spaces" at the two hospitals but there's "not enough medical staff."

The good news is that Garganera and Acting City Mayor Michael Rama told the public that more critical-care spaces will be ready in three days, to be provided by, among others, all the rooms at Abellana National School and three new floors of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) -- plus two hospitals more opened to Covid cases and, probably, the use of Noah, converted into a vaccination site, again for isolation and treatment.

Mike's name-calling

Mike Rama sports not just the title VM (vice mayor), but also EAM (extended acting mayor). He runs Cebu City during an MECQ period, which he says stands for Mike Edgar Cimatu Quarantine.

Rama loves to give names to projects and places, with the corresponding initials (not necessarily an acronym whose initials are pronounceable as a word).

He does not call not for the police-enforced lockdown but for a PSHL (Parental-Supervised Home Lockdown). He calls Abellana National School, soon to be opened as isolation/treatment space, AMSIF or Abellana Mega Stay-in Facility.

Cebu City residents hope and pray they won't be SEOD (screwed at the end of the day). "At the end of the day" is one of Mike's favorite clichés.

Order to his generals

EAM Rama seems to regard himself as a general who gives marching orders to "foot generals," whose names he sprinkles on the path of his talk. He uses a lot of power adjectives such as "massive," "aggressive," and "decisive."

But he didn't answer directly the question if the City had the capacity to overcome or tame the Delta variant, which the city's EOC chief Garganera calls the "third surge." Instead, he said that if not "kaya," we shouldn't call Cebu a city.

Rama's divine backup

Aside from his "foot generals," the acting mayor said he has the Sto. Niño "behind me and God all around me."

Formidable backup from the heavens, which could be useful as well during the next election.

Casas tapped

The first order from the acting mayor to City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. was not the memo that some must have expected. No, not an order Casas not to sign checks unless specifically instructed by the acting mayor, which the City Council asked Rama in last Wednesday's (July 29) session.

Instead, EAM Rama ordered Casas to have the Abellana National School and three floors of Cebu City Medical Center ready for operations in three days.

That's a lot tougher than affixing Casas's signature to a city treasury check with a lot of zeros in it.

What numbers tell

From EAM Rama's August 2 press-con, one can get an idea of the situation in Cebu City by looking at the numbers City Hall supplied:

[] Covid casualties: 14 dead in June; 69 in July. 621 dead in first surge; 162 in second surge; 83 in ongoing third surge.

[] Of the city's barangays, only five has not been struck with the new Covid attack.

[] On August 2: 413 positive cases in one day or a 20.7 percent positivity rate, against the WHO standard of 1 percent or less.

[] If one wants a dead person cremated in the city, that can't be done until August 9 because of the work load.

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