Mayor ‘confident’ Cebu City will not revert to ECQ status

WITH the National Government expected to address the country’s quarantine status on Monday, June 15, 2020, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is confident the city will not revert to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status.

The local executive said the city may remain on general community quarantine (GCQ).

Labella pointed out factors which should be considered in deciding the city’s quarantine status, including the high recovery rate and the low mortality rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Because of the rate of recovery that we have and also the mortality rate, which is much lower than the national, (and) the recovery rate, which is much higher than the national, I think I am confident that we can get the GCQ status,” he said.

As of Saturday, June 13, Cebu City had 54 percent recovery rate and 1.1 percent mortality rate.

As to the increasing number of cases reported daily, Labella attributed this to the strategic mass testing the City Government had conducted.

He said the City has conducted more than 25,000 tests, including 10,000 tests using the polymerase chain reaction (PRC) test.

The City Health Department has been collecting swab samples since March from people exposed to Covid-19 patients, those who go to cluster clinics and those who display flu-like symptoms.

The City also collected 15,012 blood samples for testing using RDT for the Project Balik Buhay in May.

The PCR test is the gold standard which can detect the virus itself while the RDT can detect antibodies which the body produces if there is a past or current infection.

Meanwhile, Labella said he will not be comfortable if the city is downgraded to a more relaxed modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

He said the City has to keep its guard up, adding that strict health protocol need to be implemented.

“We still have to be vigilant. We still need to be on guard... necessary strict health protocol have to be imposed on the residents,” he said.

Under MGCQ, leisure centers, such as movie houses and theaters, can open.

Under ECQ, only essential establishments are open, such as health care facilities, pharmacies and grocery stores and supermarkets.

As for the transportation, only those that are delivering essential goods, food deliveries, emergency vehicles and vehicles of frontliners are allowed to ply the streets.

Under GCQ, more establishments are allowed to operate, such as malls, but limited to non-leisure, with only 50 percent working capacity for on-site workers.

Regardless of quarantine status, health protocol need to observed and everyone is still encouraged to stay at home. (JJL)