Cebu City calls on Bong Go, traders for help as Covid surges

·5 min read

WITH Cebu City’s new and active coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases hitting record highs this year, Mayor Michael Rama has called on businessmen and a senator to help prevent virus transmission and ensure an adequate supply of medicines.

As of January 16, 2022 Sunday, the disease had returned to 68 of the city’s 80 barangays after the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recorded 509 new cases, bringing active cases to 2,612, from just eight active cases two weeks ago.

Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the EOC, said the daily positivity rate had soared from 0.61 percent last January 1 to 43.03 percent in just 17 days.

This is the city’s highest positivity rate since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, confirming that a fourth wave of Covid-19 is underway.

Garganera said 360 or 71 percent of the 509 new cases were aged 21 to 50 years old.

Some 46 cases were under 21 years old, 76 were in the 51-70 age bracket, while 27 were in the 71-90 age bracket.

Mayor Rama told SunStar that he is now working with Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to address the shortage in the supply of medicine for colds, cough and fever in Cebu City.

Last January 11, the National Government set a purchase cap for paracetamol and other flu medicines following the stock-out issues experienced since the week prior, amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Rama said he would give for free to residents the medicine that Go would send him.

The mayor confirmed the shortage in the supply of medicines in Cebu, saying that since last week, people going to pharmacies had reported not being able to buy the medicines.

"We are running out of Biogesic and all these influenza medicines. Maybe this is being hoarded. Please help us out," Rama said he asked Go, chairman of the Senate committee on health and demography.

Rama said when the medicines he requested arrive, they will be repacked by personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Services and delivered to the homes of the Cebuanos.

"I have said again and again since yesterday that President Digong Duterte and Sen. Bong Go will not forsake us,” the mayor said.

Last week, Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak sponsored a resolution urging government agencies to monitor the supply and prices of influenza medicines to ensure that prices are not inflated and supply is adequate.

Tumulak explained that due to the north wind, one will experience extreme heat during the day and cold at night, which will result in colds, cough or flu.

To help stem the infections, Rama has asked Police General Dionardo Carlos, chief of the Philippine National Police, and Police Brigadier General Eduardo Vega of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas to add uniformed police to Cebu City for police visibility in the city’s 80 barangays.

Rama said he will not implement a lockdown, a “no vaccination, no entry” policy in business establishments and a “no vaccination, no ride policy” in the city. In return, he requested people who have no important business to just stay home and not roam.

Garganera expects this fourth wave of Covid-19 cases to start declining in late January.

No visits

In the meantime, Covid-19 is also back among the police and inmate population.

Visits at the Sawang Calero Police Station 6 detention cell have been suspended after 15 of its inmates tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

According to Lt. Col. Alan Rosario, chief of community relations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), the sick inmates have been placed in a separate jail room to avoid contaminating their fellow prisoners.

Rosario said those who were newly caught will be brought to other detention cells outside of Calero while the 15 inmates are recuperating.

The police official said the detention cell where the 15 inmates were temporarily transferred is now covered with a transparent plastic sheet to prevent the spread of the virus.

Rosario said at least three policemen from the CCPO also fell ill with Covid-19.

These policemen, however, were already isolated in their respective houses.

“We already reminded the policemen to always observe the health safety protocol when they arrested some personalities during their anti-criminality operations to avoid the possibility of getting the virus and to avoid contaminating any household member when they go home,” he said.

He said although all policemen of CPPO were already vaccinated, they should not be complacent and still follow the health protocol.

Meanwile, the CCPO welcomed the idea of Mayor Rama to ask the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) to lend their container vans so these can be used as detention facilities to decongest the crowded detention cells.

Lieutenant Colonel, Janette Rafter, chief of the Operations Branch of the CCPO, clarified that not all detention cells in the city’s 11 police stations are fully occupied.

Rama said they would need at least 11 container vans to ease the congestion in the detention cells so that the spread of Covid-19 can be avoided.

"I did my visit yesterday (January 16) and have been in three police stations, and I am not happy to see the congestion in their detention cells," Rama said.

Rama said he sought permission from the CCCI, Cebu Contractors Association and shipping firms to allow the City to borrow their container vans for use as the city's temporary detention cells. (PAC / CTL, AYB / TPT)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting