Local leaders urged not to be complacent

·1 min read

ALTHOUGH Cebu is better prepared now to deal with a surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, local officials are urged not to be complacent.

This was University of the Philippines (UP) assistant professor and Octa Research member Ranjit Rye’s reaction to the negative feedback the group has received from local officials, including Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, on its recent study concerning Cebu’s Covid-19 situation.

“We agree with Governor Gwen (that) Cebu is better prepared now to deal with a surge. What we want to emphasize is that Cebu City is in the midst of a surge in new cases — a surge that may be fueled by a more contagious variant. We still do not know. But what is needed now is an appropriate and timely response in the next few weeks to reverse the surge. Let’s respond now while the situation in Cebu is still manageable. We are confident Cebu will overcome,” Rye told SunStar Philippines.

Octa Research is a group of academics from UP and the University of Santo Tomas who are monitoring the state of Covid-19 in the country.

In its Jan. 28, 2021 report, Octa Research said Cebu, including Cebu City, has become an area of “serious concern” with its rising Covid-19 cases.

The group said if the trend continues, the figures that Cebu had when it was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in 2020 could return in the next two weeks.

In a press conference held a day after the report was released, Garcia criticized Octa Research for “singling out” Cebu in its report. (TPM / SunStar Philippines)