LAPU-LAPU City was among the nine cities and five provinces placed under Alert Level 3 from January 9 to 15, 2022, as the country hit a three-month high of 17,220 new Covid-19 cases, Malacañang announced on Thursday.
However, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health in Central Visayas, clarified that there is no Omicron variant of Covid-19 detected in Lapu-Lapu City.
Loreche made the clarification after Lapu-Lapu City was placed under Alert Level 3 status starting January 9 to 15, 2022.
She explained that there was a mistake in the encoding of the numbers.
"The admissions in Lapu-Lapu City hospitals are non-Covid," she said, adding that this is subject to appeal and reconciliation of data.
She said the alert level was based on the report of the critical utilization rate in the hospitals in the city.
As of January 6, the city has 20 active cases of Covid-19.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard "Ahong" Chan is considering requiring passengers entering the city through the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to present a negative RT-PCR test result.
"Wala ko katulog tungod niining balita nga girekomendar sa IATF nga ibutang kita sa Alert Level 3 tungod kay nakasulod na sa atong nasud ang Omicron nga Covid-19 variant. Wala pa gani kita kabangon sa kadaot gikan sa bagyong Odette unya aduna na pod tay laing atubangon," Chan said in his FB post.
(I could not sleep because of this news that the IATF recommended that we be placed on Alert Level 3 because the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has already entered our country. We haven't even recovered from the damage from Typhoon Odette then we have another one to deal with.)
Earlier, Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has agreed to place the following areas under Alert Level 3:
Baguio City (Cordillera Administrative Region)
Dagupan City (Ilocos)
City of Santiago (Cagayan Valley);
Angeles City (Central Luzon)
Olongapo City (Central Luzon)
Lucena City (Calabarzon)
Naga City (Bicol);
Iloilo City (Western Visayas)
Lapu-lapu City (Central Visayas).
The 17,220 new infections recorded on Thursday increased the country’s total caseload to 2,888,917.
Health authorities also reported 616 more people getting better, bringing total recoveries to 2,780,613 while 81 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 51,743.
Strictly adhere to protocols
President Rodrigo Duterte, in a prerecorded Talk to the People on Thursday, urged authorities to continue enforcing and the public to continue adhering to minimum public health standards.
“We are reverting back to a stricter quarantine protocol to minimize mobility and exposure of the coronavirus. Our minimum public health standards shall be strictly enforced and violations shall be dealt with accordingly under the law especially under Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Concern Act,” he said.
“To our countrymen, please follow persons in authority who are enforcing the restrictions and public standards. Must ito (This is a must), must obey,” he said.
He also renewed his call to local officials, including barangay (village) captains, to apprehend those who left their homes despite refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
“Otherwise. you deal with the police or maybe the military on the long stretch,” he added.
Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal are under Alert Level 3 until Jan. 15 while Laguna will also be put under higher alert level from Jan. 7 to 15. (MKG/PNA/MVG)