Spike in cases prompts Cebu City to clamp down on quarantine violators

·3 min read

THE Cebu City Government will strictly enforce the quarantine pass number coding and reimplement border control following the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the city.

The Department of Health (DOH) 7 reported 59 new cases in Cebu City on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, bringing the present number of active cases to 262 and total cases to 10,438.

“I will reimplement the quarantine pass number coding. I will have stricter border control. I will regulate the entry of LSIs (locally stranded individuals) to ensure that they are really LSIs and not just here for leisure. Only Apors (authorized persons outside residence) and workers with valid IDs and employment certificates proving they are working in the city will be allowed entry,” Labella told SunStar Cebu on Saturday.

The mayor also reminded barangay officials of their roles to monitor the movement of residents within their jurisdictions.

Of the 59 new cases, 30 are males and 29 are females, including four children between the ages of one and six from an orphanage.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said they’ve already placed the orphanage on lockdown, but he refused to disclose its name.

Seven of the patients are confined in private and public hospitals in the city.

The city councilor said they will bring the patients to the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home Complex (Noah) at the South Road Properties on Sunday morning, Nov. 15.

He said they will use six to seven ambulances to transport the new patients to the Noah complex, including the 10 they already found. They hope to locate the 42 others by 3 p.m. so they, too, can be isolated.

The 59 new cases come from 23 barangays in the city.

On Friday, Nov. 13, authorities conducted Oplan Bulabog and sent home patrons of a resto bar in Barangay Kasambagan who were not practicing social distancing and were drinking liquor.

The establishment has 72 hours to explain its lapses after the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) issued a show cause order.

According to guidelines laid out by the Department of Trade and Industry, two servings of liquor are allowed per customer in restaurants in areas on modified general community quarantine.

Kasambagan Barangay Captain Franklyn Ong said he has been reminding his constituents and establishments in the barangay to follow health protocols.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach BPLO head Jared Limquiaco, but to no avail.

The mayor earlier warned that closure awaited establishments that failed to implement health protocols within their premises.

Between Friday night and Saturday dawn, the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement team also apprehended 125 quarantine violators, who were brought to the Plaza Independencia for profiling.

Most of them violated the 11 p.m. curfew or had no quarantine passes.

Based on the quarantine ordinance, violators face an administrative fine of P500 for the first offense or render community service from four hours to eight hours; P1,000 for the second offense; and P3,000 or 30 days imprisonment for the third offense depending on the discretion of the court.

Garganera said Plaza Independencia will have to serve as a temporary holding facility while they are preparing a gym in Barangays Labangon and Tejero for this purpose.

The mayor had said the Cebu City Police Office would launch Oplan Paglilibot to ensure the enforcement of the curfew policy.

The curfew in the city starts at 11 p.m. and lasts until 5 a.m.

Garganera said the number of apprehended violators only show that people are getting complacent.

On Saturday, the EOC met with officials from the Police Regional Office 7, provincial and city police directors, the Cebu Port Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard to discuss the implementation of stricter border controls. (BBT, JJL, MVG)