Editorial: Hold on

·2 min read

THE Emergency Operations Center (EOC) attributes a big part of the recent uptrend of Covid-19 cases in Cebu City to individuals not complying with the mask protocol, but there must be other variables to the increase.

As of May 24, Cebu City has 380 active cases, although it still has a positivity rate of 3.44 percent, within the five percent threshold of the World Health Organization (WHO).

EOC deputy chief implementer and Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera said around 73 percent of those that tested positive recently admitted to not wearing masks around people, the contact tracing data revealed.

“Based on our contact tracing data, the community is relaxed and has failed to practice minimum health protocol at all times,” said Garganera. The EOC has set its eyes closely since the uptick in the past four days, examining potential patterns and links in the transmission.

Cebu City already had two waves, the second of which came early this year as a consequence of the year-end slackening of protocols in 2020 when the economy slowly opened up. Garganera said residents have been observed to violate health protocols as shown by the average of 50 to 70 apprehensions daily. Violators have been fined or made to do community work.

The Department of Health data showed that Cebu City has 464 active cases. These are in 55 of the 80 barangays. Mandaue City has 184, Lapu-Lapu City has 161 and Cebu Province has 491.

While the EOC revealed that the Cebu City trend has been due to mask protocol violators, it may also help to study other factors. Are there common areas where the transmissions took place? Which areas are these? Has there been a dominant sector among the cases? Workers, and what type of workers?

It may help to enlighten the public at large with more data on the nature of the recent uptick in cases in Cebu City. This will also help law enforcement agencies decide which areas in the city need the most monitoring and where rigid observance of the health protocols must be ensured.

“Our No. 1 enemy is ourselves, our being complacent,” said Garganera. While this is true, full public awareness on the nature of the recent cases must also be pushed by making more data available, and better yet in realtime.

Government has assured that mass vaccination will start next month with the arrival of more vaccines. The rollout will then include those in the Priority A4 list, those registered under the local government units and the health office.

“Utong na lang gamay ug palihug tuman ta sa pag-obserbar sa minimum health protocols (Hold on a bit and please observe the minimum health protocols),” Garganera urged the public.

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