DOH, IATF recommend MGCQ extension in Central Visayas

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THE Department of Health (DOH) recommended placing the whole Central Visayas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until Nov. 30, 2020.

Since September, Cebu has been placed under MGCQ as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for emerging infectious disease (IATF-EID).

On its third month of MGCQ, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, the spokesperson of DOH 7, said they will have a reassessment of the situation.

Loreche still urged people to be mindful, to be cautious and more vigilant as they expect more movement from people in December.

Loreche said that big parties are still discouraged.

She also recommended senior citizens to have a scheduled time to go to the mall on Yuletide season to control their movement and protect them as they are considered vulnerable.

A more relaxed quarantine level does not mean that the virus is gone, and the vaccine is still not available, said Loreche.

DOH 7 reported a total of 40 new Covid-19 cases on Nov. 1 from Cebu City (3), Mandaue City (1), Cebu Province (6), Negros Oriental (28) and Bohol (2).

On the same day, DOH 7 recorded a total of 988 active cases.

Meanwhile, an official of the IATF’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) also recommended to extend the MGCQ in Cebu City until the end of the year.

Cebu City councilor Joel Garganera, who heads Cebu City’s EOC, said though the city’s Covid-19 situation is improving, he still recommends to extend the MGCQ status as the city is not yet ready to shift to a “new normal” classification.

In September, the IATF introduced the “new normal” classification, which is the lowest classification after MGCQ. Under the “new normal,” travel and business restrictions are lifted provided that health standards are strictly observed.

Garganera said the city’s Covid-19 cases are averaging at more than seven cases per day as of October and is a far cry from their situation in June when the city experienced triple-digit cases.

But Garganera said despite the improving situation, removing important restrictions could be dangerous. (KFD, JKV)