RESIDENTS of Cebu City are once again required to carry quarantine passes when they leave their homes.
Mayor Edgardo Labella had temporarily suspended their use for 10 days for those who wanted to attend dawn masses or Misa de Gallo between Dec. 15 and Dec. 25, 2020.
When asked about an extension on Saturday, Dec. 26, Labella said, “No more, no more (suspension of passes).”
He also reminded the public that the 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew would once again be mandated for everyone, except essential workers.
Based on his observation, many complied with health protocol to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), especially on Thursday, Dec. 24, and Friday, Dec. 25.
“In fact, 9 or 10 in the evening (of Dec. 25), as I went around, the city was really quiet,” the mayor said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
He said the Christmas celebration was “generally peaceful.”
City Councilor Joel Garganera echoed his sentiments, saying in a statement that “overall, we did great.”
Garganera, who is deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said the holding of the nine-day dawn masses was a learning experience that was a collective achievement of the church, the City Government, the Philippine National Police, barangays, the private sector and the public.
Garganera said the next few weeks will be “very crucial” since there have been many movements and gatherings since the start of December.
According to data released by the EOC, based on the trend from Dec. 11 to Dec. 24, the transmission of Covid-19 involving travelers now accounts for 20 percent of cases, surpassing workplace transmission, which is currently at 14.28 percent.
Garganera said most of those who tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, were intending to travel outside the city.
“Mandatory testing upon arrival from outside of the country, most of those that got positive are those who intend to travel outside of Cebu City either for work or visit,” he said.
Only a few locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and authorized persons outside of residence (Apor) tested positive during the same period, he said.
Of the 355 individuals tested at ports and cluster clinics from Dec. 1 to Dec. 19, only one tested positive.
“All these combined, they’re not really that significant a number but just the same, we’re closely monitoring it,” he said.
He said the EOC has the situation under control.
Outside transmission of Covid-19, including travel and workplace transmission, constitutes 53.03 percent of cases, while household transmission stands at 46.96 percent.
Garganera said Covid-19 transmission is inevitable, especially during the month of December when people are up and about shopping for presents for loved ones.
In an interview with SunStar Tonight, Garganera said the EOC is in a better position now to handle a spike in Covid-19 cases after the holidays.
However, this does not mean the public should lower their guard, as they could bring the virus home and infect their loved ones, he said.
The death toll from the disease stands at 690, which constitutes 6.4 percent of the total number of cases in the city or 10,766.
As of Friday, Cebu City had 79 active Covid-19 cases, with a recovery rate of 92.87 percent.
Of this number, 43 are staying in the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home complex, eight in the IC3 Bayanihan Center, 14 in government hospitals in the city and 14 in either private hospitals or hotels.
Fifty-four of the city’s 80 barangays have reported zero transmission for the past 14 days.
Nationwide, the Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday reported 1,406 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total case count in the country to 469,005.
In its Saturday case bulletin, cities and provinces with the highest number of new cases were Bulacan (100), Quezon City (98), Rizal (88), Laguna (73) and Batangas (69).
The DOH also logged five additional mortalities, raising the death toll to 9,067 and the case fatality rate to 1.93 percent.
The health department also recorded 266 new recoveries, bringing the total to 431,055, or 91.9 percent of the total count.
Of the total number of cases, 28,883 or 6.2 percent were active cases.
Of the active cases, 82.5 percent were mild cases, 9.9 percent were asymptomatic cases, 4.8 percent were critical cases, 2.5 percent were severe cases and 0.32 percent were moderate cases. (JJL, HDT / SunStar Philippines)