CCCI: Strict compliance, not lockdown

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STRICT compliance is needed, not a return to general community quarantine (GCQ).

This was what the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said as the new Covid-19 cases in Cebu City topped nationwide statistics again for the second day on Wednesday.

“To be honest, we cannot go back to GCQ anymore. Businesses are ramping up lately, though there are still industries that need help like in tourism, hotels, restaurants and supply chains,” CCCI president Felix Taguiam said.

CCCI with other convenors and affiliated organizations of the Project Balik Buhay (PBB) expressed alarm as the total active cases in Cebu returned to the 1,000 mark Wednesday and the capacity utilization rate doubled in 22 days.

Taguiam said business establishments in the city should observe the standard health protocols the PBB crafted to curb the rising cases. PBB is a multi-stakeholder plan which aims to balance economic sustainability and public health security in the three highly urbanized cities of Cebu: Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Cebu.

“We have seen the downward (trend) of cases from August to December. What we need is self-discipline,” he said.

Taguiam said at present, people in the streets are not wearing masks or face shields anymore.

“Strict compliance is what we need, not GCQ. We did it before, so we can do it now and forever solve this pandemic together,” he said.

Cebu is under the more relaxed modified general community quarantine until a new status is announced after Jan. 31, 2021.

CCCI, with the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu; Cebu Chinese-Filipino Chamber of Commerce; and the Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter called for vigilance, following the continuous rise in positive cases after the Christmas and New Year holidays.

As of Jan. 25, 2021, the group pointed out that the Covid bed capacity utilization rate in private hospitals has gone up to 24.2 percent from a low of 11.4 percent last Jan. 3.

“Health experts observed that this spike is mainly attributed to public gatherings and other activities in some business establishments, especially bars, which violated capacity and health safety protocols,” the group said in an earlier statement. / (JOB)