‘No vax, no entry’ in Cebu City malls

STARTING Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, only individuals fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), ages 12 and above, will be allowed to enter malls and other indoor venues and establishments in Cebu City.

This, after Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama issued Executive Order 157 called “Puyo Gihapon” to limit the movements of people due to the surge in active coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the city to 3,822 on Jan. 18, from just four last Jan. 1.

However, fully vaccinated minors ages 12 to 17 must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or responsible adult, provided that minors entering indoor venues for purposes of vaccination shall be allowed.

Minors aged 11 and below are strictly prohibited from entering the malls even if they tag along with their parents or guardians.

People are now required to present their vaccination cards before entering the malls, especially in downtown Cebu City, where malls have started posting “no vaccine, no entry” notices in their vicinity.

Rama encouraged unvaccinated individuals to get their jabs against Covid-19 now since this is offered for free.

Rama said those vaccinated will have the chance to win prizes like a house and lot, a brand- new car, appliances and gift certificates.

The curfew hours have also been tightened to from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. for adults and 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. for minors since Jan. 14 when the city was placed under Alert Level 3 status.

Regarding the lack of supply of influenza medicines, the Task Force Puyo under Section 10 of the executive order has been tasked to monitor the prices of drugs, especially influenza medicines, and basic commodities that are needed most in this time of pandemic.

Under Section 13 of the executive order, public and private hospitals are “enjoined to admit severe and critical Covid-19 cases only.”

The 30 percent indoor capacity and 50 percent outdoor capacity should also be observed in business establishments.

Under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, only vaccinated individuals have no movement restrictions.

Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, the 70 percent maximum passenger capacity is also required in public utility jeepneys to avoid the spread of the virus.

The number of fully vaccinated individuals in Cebu City has reached 540,136, while 655,244 have received at least a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Cebu City has a population of 964,169, according to the 2020 census of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

With the surge in Covid-19 cases in the city in the new year, the utilitization rate of Covid-19 allocated beds in public hospitals in the city was already at the high risk level while the utilization rate in private hospitals was still normal as of Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said public hospitals had already reached 80.87 percent occupancy while the private hospital occupancy rate was 41.67 percent.

The four public hospitals in the city have allocated more or less a total of 410 beds for Covid-19 cases, while the 11 private hospitals have allocated 800 beds.

Not all of those admitted in Cebu City hospitals are residents of the city.

Above 40% positivity

On Jan. 18, Cebu City recorded 660 new Covid-19 cases for a daily positivity rate (DPR) of 42.86 percent since 1,540 individuals had been swabbed.

Based on the EOC list, 20 of the 660 people who tested positive were under 11 years old, while five were above 90 years old.

This is the third day in which Cebu City recorded a more than 40 percent DPR this month.

Cebu City now has 3,822 active cases, with residents in 73 of the city’s 80 barangays infected.

The barangays with three-digit active cases are Guadalupe, 358; Lahug, 226; Apas, 193; Capitol Site, 150; Tisa, 143; Mabolo, 142; Talamban, 129; Camputhaw, 128; Labangon, 126; Sambag 2, 107; and Punta Princesa, 102.

535 Omicron cases

The Philippines detected 492 more cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2, pushing the total tally of the strain to 535, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Of the 492 cases, two have died, three are still active, 467 have been tagged as recovered, and 20 are still being verified by the agency.

The DOH said 332 of the 492 cases were local or the patients have no travel history, while 160 were returning overseas Filipinos.

It said 227 of the local cases were from Metro Manila; 76 in Calabarzon; 11 in Central Luzon; five in Central Visayas; two each in Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Davao Region, Soccsksargen and the Cordillera Administrative Region; and one each in Ilocos, Mimaropa, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Last Tuesday, the DOH in Central Visayas said there were 22 cases of the Omicron variant in the region. It’s unclear if the five new ones reported are among the 22 cases reported earlier in the region. (TPT / CTL)