Editorial: Arresting potential spike

·2 min read

It isn’t as though government doesn’t have some takeaways from the long shutdown between March and September when it re-implements the measures that are already familiar to most by now.

It is best to trust its decisions at this point. In October, through the leadership of the Emergency Operations Center, with Councilor Joel Garganera at the helm, we managed to bring to record trickle the number of transmissions, even to one in a day.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the Department of Health reported 59 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the current count of active cases to 262, to a total of 10,438 in Central Visayas.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella reacts, “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.”

Of the 59 new cases, four were children, with ages between one and six from an orphanage, which Garganera said had already been placed in a lockdown. Seven patients have already been confined in hospitals in the city.

The bad sign in all these transmissions is that the 59 new cases come from 23 barangays, at once indicating the scale that the consequent contact tracing needs to cover. Imagine 23 potential epicenters if the transmissions go out of hand, the numbers could easily shoot exponentially if you have a transmission rate of four persons per case.

The Cebu City Police Office promptly launched its Oplan Bulabog last week, swooping on drinking sessions in bars, sending everyone home. The Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beatification and Enhancement team also apprehended 125 quarantine violators, shepherding them into the Plaza Independencia for profiling.

Nothing in all these actions signify the old populist tack of accommodating special interests. To keep the economy going, we need this sudden pause and arrest any potential resurgence of cases before they get out of hand and muddle everything we had already accomplished.

Remember those times of persistent downplaying with the virus and where it brought us. This recent move by the city is alarmist, and by all means it must be, otherwise we’re back to the Snakes and Ladder game in this health crisis.

Just allow our system to be in control mode before we lunge back into the groove of the new normal.