THE Cebu City Government and various government agencies are preparing to allow at least 18,000 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to depart once the city shifts to general community quarantine by Aug. 1, 2020.
Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, who also serves as deputy chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF)’s Emergency Operations Center, said it was agreed upon by him and officials of the Cebu Port Authority (CPA), local police, Philippine Coast Guard Cebu and some shipping firms to facilitate the transportation of the LSIs.
“Considering that the LSIs have been here for almost four months, we expect a massive number of them to flock to our piers as we are not only focusing on LSIs in Cebu City but also those in the province,” Garganera told reporters.
With most roll-on roll-off (roro) vessels currently docked at Pier 1 in Cebu City, Garganera said providing tickets to concerned LSIs will be a challenge especially as passenger vessels can only accommodate around 50 percent of their usual capacity.
Garganera said ticketing offices can start accommodating outbound passengers while the CPA and the Coast Guard can deploy personnel to help control crowds during boarding.
He also said shuttle services provided by the shipping firms can help in ensuring that the passengers are brought to their vessels with consideration for strict physical distancing and other health protocol.
Passengers are still required to follow minimum health protocol whether in or out of the passenger vessel.
Meanwhile, the country’s confirmed Covid-19 cases have breached the 82,000 mark, with 1,657 additional coronavirus infections reported by the health department Monday, July 27.
The Department of Health (DOH) said in its Monday case bulletin that the 1,657 additional cases were reported based on the total tests done by 59 out of 90 current operational labs.
This number brought the total count to 82,040.
The DOH also announced 359 recoveries and 16 additional deaths.
The total number of patients who have recovered from the disease is now at 26,446, while the total number of mortalities is now at 1,945.
The health department said of the 16 deaths reported Monday, 14 or 88 percent happened in July, one or six percent in June and one or six percent in May.
The deaths were from Central Visayas, with eight mortalities or 50 percent, NCR with seven or 44 percent and Soccsksargen with one or six percent.
The DOH said 65 duplicates were removed from the total case count.
Of these, 23 recovered cases and two deaths have been removed.
It also reported that one case that was previously reported to have died has been validated to be an active case.
“These numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation,” the agency said. (PAC, SunStar Philippines)