THE tri-cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from September 1 to 7, 2021, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced on his Facebook page Saturday, August 28, 2021.
Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) also retained the general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions status of Cebu Province and Negros Oriental in Central Visayas.
The tri-cities have been under MECQ since August 1 due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
The Cebu Provincial Government earlier placed the towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Cordova, Minglanilla, Sibonga, Samboan, Argao and Oslob and the cities of Talisay, Naga and Carcar under MECQ that started August 11.
The rest of Cebu Province has been under GCQ with heightened restrictions since August 1.
Roque also announced on his Facebook page that the IATF retained the MECQ status of the National Capital Region (NCR), as well as changes to some quarantine status of other regions.
Roque said NCR, Bataan and Laguna will have added restrictions on dining, personal care services and religious activities.
All other areas not mentioned will be placed under modified general community quarantine.
As of Friday, August 27, Central Visayas recorded a total of 1,105 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total to 114,159, according to the Department of Health-Central Visayas. Of the total cases, 16,839 were active, 93,675 were recoveries and 3,645 were deaths.
Guard still up
In Cebu City, Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said the EOC and the City Government will use the extension period to bring down the cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the city.
Garganera said the Covid-19 cases in the city “are slowly going down”; however, the daily tally is still in the three digits.
“Yes, our cases are slowly going down, but still it’s three digits, punga gihapon,” Garganera told the media.
He said he will also not lobby for a lower quarantine classification, adding the new variants of Covid-19, specifically the delta variant, should not be taken lightly.
“Deceitful kaayo ni siya nga kontra. Molugak ta og kalit, basin musaka na hinuon (This is a very deceitful enemy. If we immediately relax our status, the cases may possibly increase again),” said Garganera.
Based on EOC data on Aug. 27, the city’s total Covid-19 cases have reached 37,313 with 32,719 recoveries and 1,210 deaths.
The remaining active cases in the city as of Aug. 27 are 3,383.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, for his part, said although the Covid-19 cases in the city are decreasing, it is still not the time to be complacent.
“Although our cases in Mandaue are slowly tapering off, this is still not the time to be complacent as one wrong move would be inimical to us considering the volatility of the situation,” said Cortes.
The mayor said they have prepared the 70-bed capacity step-down facility which will serve as the extension of the Mandaue City Hospital and to provide the existing 25 beds in the Mandaue City Hospital to the severe cases.
Cortes inspected the facility on August 27.
He said they are also ramping up their vaccination efforts by employing different strategies.
On August 29, the Mandaue City Vaccination Operations Center (VOC) will launch its drive-thru vaccination, the Bakuna, Bai! Drive-by Vaccination Program for the public utility vehicle drivers who are residents of Mandaue City.
The vaccination will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pajara Park in Barangay Umapad, Mandaue City.
The vaccinees still need to register on the link provided on the Mandaue VOC Facebook page.
Aside from this, Cortes said the VOC will officially launch the “Tara Shots sa Gabii” night vaccination for those belonging to the A4 category or the economic frontliners on
September 3, 2021.
The VOC also announced that it will now cater to walk-ins for persons with comorbidities or those belonging to the A3 category, and pregnant women in addition to senior citizens.
Meanwhile, the business community in Cebu breathed a sigh of relief with the one-week extension of the MECQ for the tri-cities instead of a longer period.
Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said extending the MECQ for one week is better than the 15-day period.
Taguiam said Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella started the home vaccination program for seniors and vaccination has also been ramping up for all who registered.
“We are seeing a better result under the Cebu City Executive Order 137 or Oplan Puyo. Businesses are really feeling the effects of restrictions, (so we are) hoping for everyone to get vaccinated,” Taguaim said.
“Let’s do our part so we can expect businesses soon to open safely to all,” he added.
Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu said the government is exercising caution in monitoring the daily case rates while allowing for the economy some leeway to be productive.
“We have to learn how to live with Covid by boosting our immune system, following health protocols, while keeping our economy afloat,” he said. (JGS / JJL / KFD / JOB)