Talisay City transitions to ‘GCQ like MECQ’ status

AFTER six days under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status, Talisay City, Cebu is back on general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday, June 22, 2020.

Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. in his Facebook (FB) post on Sunday, June 21, described the quarantine status as “GCQ na murag MECQ (a GCQ status that is like an MECQ status),” emphasizing that the City will continue to strictly implement health protocol to slow down the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

The City, he said, will monitor the movement of non-workers and non-essential movement.

Talisay City was on GCQ from June 1 to June 15 until the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases placed it under MECQ on June 16.

Gullas urged his constituents to wear masks, practice social distancing and follow government protocol, adding that the lowering of the city’s quarantine status to GCQ does not mean Covid-19 cases in the city are decreasing.

The mayor said the easing of restrictions does not mean the city is already safe.

“Remember that the reason we are in a GCQ is to revive the economy and for people to get back to work and earn a living,” Gullas posted on his FB page. “GCQ is for economy, not for leisure,” he said.

The local executive received the IATF resolution reclassifying Talisay City’s quarantine status back to GCQ on June 21.

Early warning

“I’ll be very honest. Actually, as we start ‘GCQ na murag MECQ’ this Monday, naa gyud mga adlaw na taas ang pagsaka sa ato cases tungod sa atong contact tracing sa atong mga positives these past few weeks (there will be days that cases will go up but this is because we have been contact tracing these past few weeks). Ubay-ubay baya to (We’ve had a number of positive cases). Please don’t quit on this government and our fight against Covid if we see a sudden increase on certain days. This is because of our contact tracing,” said Gullas.

The approval came after the Regional IATF concurred with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s decision to downgrade Talisay City’s status to GCQ status.

Under GCQ, public transportation can operate, but this is limited to buses and tricycles, said Gullas.

He said public utility jeepneys are still prohibited as per mandate of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

When the National Government placed Talisay City on MECQ, more police and soldiers were deployed in the city.

Gullas said he wants to maintain their presence in the city. The city, he said, needs police and the military to ensure strict implementation of social distancing in areas where people converge like the public markets in Barangays Tabunok, Dumlog and San Roque; malls and supermarkets; the central district in Tabunok; and other areas.

They will also be deployed in strategic areas to enforce the curfew and to ensure that only those with quarantine passes or are essential workers are outdoors, he said.

The mayor said more law enforcers will also be deployed in areas where there are high cases of Covid-19.

Gullas said there will be random and simultaneous checkpoints throughout the day.

Workers must present their identification cards and certificates of employment at the borders of Talisay City and Cebu City in Barangay Bulacao and the South Road Properties before they can enter Talisay.

As of press time, Gullas had yet to issue his executive order.

He also asked residents to cooperate.

“I believe that if we all help each other in facing this problem, we will get somewhere and find the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

In Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella said he has not received word from the IATF on his appeal to downgrade Cebu City’s enhanced community quarantine status to GCQ.

As of Saturday, June 20, Talisay City had 159 Covid-19 cases. It reported 77 active cases, 57 recoveries and 25 deaths.

48 new cases

Cebu City reported 48 new cases and 12 new recoveries on Sunday, June 21.

The Cebu City Health Department also recorded eight new deaths.

The 12 new laboratory-negative or recoveries are from Barangays Labangon (11) and Tisa (1).

The 48 new infections were logged in Barangays Apas (two), Basak Pardo (one), Buhisan (two), Kamputhaw (three), Capitol Site (one), Cogon Pardo (three), Duljo Fatima (one), Inayawan (one), Labangon (three), Lahug (five), Mabolo (four), Mambaling (one), Pahina Central (two), Pardo (one), Parian (one), Pit-os (one), Punta Princesa (two), Sambag 2 (one), Suba (one), T. Padilla (one), Talamban (five), Tinago (one) and Tisa (five).

The new deaths recorded were in Barangays Basak San Nicolas (one, on June 14); Kamputhaw (one, on June 9); Hipodromo (one, on June 11); Inayawan (one, on June 16); Lahug (one, on June 10); Mambaling (two, on May 19 and May 29); and Tisa (one, on June 11).

Cebu City has 4,412 Covid-19 patients with 2,104 laboratory-negative and 81 mortalities.

The city’s active cases total 2,227. (JJL with a report from WBS)