Lapu-Lapu to appeal decision placing city on Alert Level 3

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MAYOR Junard “Ahong” Chan will write a letter to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles to appeal the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases placing Lapu-Lapu City under the more restrictive Alert Level 3 from Jan. 9 to 15, 2022.

Chan said he was really surprised at the news since Lapu-Lapu has the lowest number of active cases in Metro Cebu.

On Thursday night, the IATF placed 14 more areas in the country, including Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu, under Alert Level 3 due to the increasing number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases. This is an escalation from Alert Level 2.

According to Chan, the City Hospital’s assistant head nurse made an incorrect report regarding the number of occupied beds in the hospitals of the city.

“Iyang na submit nga puno ang atoang hospital beds sa Covid-19 (patients), so siyempre kung ikay IATF, ma alarma jud ka,” said Chan. (What the nurse submitted was that our hospital beds are full of Covid-19 patients, so definitely, if you were the IATF, you would be alarmed.)

The mayor said the City is already conducting an investigation on why the mistake occurred and the nurse will sign an affidavit to attest that the report was erroneous in nature.

Asked if the city government will reprimand the nurse, Chan said it will depend on the result of the inquiry led by the City Administrator, City Health Office and the City Legal Office.

“Dako kaayo ning damage nga iyang gihimo kanato. Ang mga tao naa pa sa pagrecover niining bagyong Odette, unya himoon tang Level 3,” said Chan. (This will cause great damage to us. The people are still recovering from Typhoon Odette, and then they will place us under Alert Level 3.)

Chan also dismissed rumors that the city will be placed on lockdown amid the declaration of the IATF.

The mayor said spreading the “fake news” will only cause panic.

According to data presented by City Health Officer Dr. Agnes Cecile Realiza, the city recorded no new Covid-19 cases from Jan. 1 to 3 and recorded only a single case on Jan. 4.

Last Jan. 5, the city logged seven new cases, while 11 new cases were tallied on Jan. 6, bringing the total active cases in the city to 19.

No Omicron

The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7) also told SunStar Cebu Friday that there was no Omicron variant case detected in Lapu-Lapu City.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 chief pathologist, made the statement after the city was placed under Alert Level 3 status.

Loreche said there was just a mistake in the encoding of numbers in terms of critical utilization rate in the hospitals in Lapu-Lapu City, which was why it was placed by the IATF under the more restrictive status.

As of Friday, Jan. 7, Loreche said, Lapu-Lapu City was classified as low risk with a total of 22.22 percent healthcare utilization rate (HCUR), all of which was attributed to isolation beds.

“The admissions in LLC hospitals are non-Covid,” she said, adding that the IATF’s move is subject to appeal and reconciliation of data.

Loreche said the city government will submit its letter of request to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, indicating its appeal not to place the city under Alert Level 3 for one week.

The chief pathologist said the DOH recommendation will be attached to the letter upon submission.

Also under Level 3

Last Jan. 6, Nograles announced the IATF decision approving the recommendation of its Sub-Technical Working Group on Data Analytics to place 14 more areas under Alert Level 3.

These areas are Baguio City in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Dagupan City in Ilocos Region; City of Santiago and Cagayan in Cagayan Valley; Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga and Zambales in Central Luzon; Batangas and Lucena City in Calabarzon; Naga City in Bicol Region; Iloilo City in Western Visayas; and Lapu-Lapu City in Central Visayas.

These areas have joined Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna in the list of areas under Alert Level 3 until Jan. 15.

Nograles said the IATF looks into the two-week growth rate, average daily attack rate and healthcare utilization rate of specific provinces, towns or cities before deciding on escalating the alert levels.

The attack rate refers to the number of infected people per 100,000 population over a given period.

Prohibited under Alert Level 3 are face-to-face classes, contact sports, fun fairs, karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, and social gatherings of individuals who do not belong to the same household, among others. (IRT, MKG, LMY / SUNSTAR PHILIPPINES)

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