IN A month that has seen Cebu Province hit multiple new highs in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), it scored yet another one when it breached the 6,000 mark in active cases on Sunday, August 22, 2021.
Cebu Province recorded 6,044 active Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the highest number of active cases it recorded since the pandemic began last year, data from the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas’s case bulletins show.
This brought total active cases in the whole Cebu island to 14,310, the second day the island’s cases have gone above the 14,000 level.
At the start of August, the whole Cebu island had just 8,182 active cases. But the number of active cases went up every single day until August 21, when it hit 14,416.
With its 6,044 cases Sunday, Cebu Province accounted for the bulk or 42 percent of Cebu island’s 14,310 active cases, followed by Cebu City with 4,760 active cases (33 percent); Mandaue City, 1,853 active cases (13 percent); and Lapu-Lapu City, 1,653 active cases (12 percent).
Cebu Province, which comprises 44 towns and six component cities, makes up 64 percent of Cebu island’s population. Cebu City makes up 19 percent; Lapu-Lapu, 10 percent; and Mandaue, seven percent.
In the first 22 days of August, the DOH-Central Visayas also reported 779 deaths on the whole Cebu island, with Cebu Province accounting for 446 deaths, or 57 percent of the deaths; Cebu City, 180 deaths (23 percent); Lapu-Lapu City, 100 deaths (13 percent); and Mandaue City, 53 deaths (seven percent).
The DOH-Central Visayas daily case bulletins come with the note that not all deaths reported on a certain day occurred on that day, but some may have occurred more than a week ago but were only recently reported following validation of the outcome of the confirmed cases.
Cebu City’s active cases have stubbornly stayed above the 4,000 level since they first breached this barrier on August 15.
Then Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama issued Executive Order 137 on August 15 providing guidelines for the enforcement of a heightened state of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to slow down the spread of Covid-19.
Among other things, it ordered residents to stay home, except for trips out to do essential work and to address essential needs; prohibited non-essential inter-island travel, the sale of liquor, and the operation of a host of establishments including venues for meetings, conferences and exhibitions, until August 31, 2021.
But the effects of these mobility restrictions have yet to be seen.
From August 1 to 22, Cebu City saw its active cases jump 62 percent from 2,942 to 4,760.
But other local government units in Cebu have fared worse.
Over the same 22-day period, Cebu Province’s active cases doubled from 3,037 to 6,044.
This, after Cebu Province first breached the 4,000 active cases mark on August 7, which it quickly surpassed when it breached the 5,000 level eight days later on August 15. It breached the 6,000 level just seven days after that.
Mandaue City’s active cases jumped 82 percent to 1,853 Sunday, from 1,018 on August 1. The latest figure, though, was down from its highest recorded figure for this month of 1,899 active cases, set the day prior.
On August 17, Mayor Jonas Cortes placed Mandaue City under a heightened state of MECQ until August 31, citing the three cases of the highly contagious Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2 earlier detected in the city as well as the 74 percent rise in the city’s active cases from the start of the month.
His Executive Order 27 imposes a stay-at-home order on residents, except for essential personnel and other authorized persons outside of residence, and to procure essential goods and services; encourages establishments to offer work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements to employees; and prohibits gatherings outside households, except for wakes and funeral services limited to the immediate family.
Lapu-Lapu City saw its active cases rise 39 percent from 1,185 cases to 1,653. The latest figure was down from this month’s high of 1,823 active cases that the city recorded on Aug. 10 however.
In Cebu Province, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has placed 11 towns and cities under MECQ with heightened restrictions from August 11 to 31: the towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Cordova, Minglanilla, Sibonga, Samboan, Argao and Oslob as well as the cities of Talisay, Naga and Carcar.
The town of San Fernando, situated between Naga and Carcar, is under voluntary MECQ with heightened restrictions.
The rest of Cebu Province is under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions for the month of August. (CTL)