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ECQ-to-GCQ transition for Cebu province this May 20

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Reporter/CDN Digital | May 15,2020 - 09:07 PM
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) personnel man the border area of Talisay City and Cebu City along the South Road Properties. | CDND Files / Gerard Vincent Francisco

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) personnel man the border area of Talisay City and Cebu City along the South Road Properties. | CDND Files / Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Local chief executives and public officials in Cebu province on Friday, May 15, agreed to effectively implement the ‘new normal’ to a later date than what was scheduled by the national government.

All mayors in Cebu concurred in a meeting held at Balamban Municipal Hall to downgrade the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) this Wednesday, May 20 at 12:01 a.m.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF – MEID) last May 11 has classified Cebu province as an area with ‘moderate-low risk’ to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, and is qualified to transition to a more relaxed GCQ.

IATF-MEID gave the province clearance to downgrade from ECQ to GCQ starting this Saturday, May 16.

Officials in Cebu agreed this will give them more time to prepare for GCQ, and for the Capitol to issue another Executive Order (EO) which in turn will serve as the over-all basis for their policies for the ‘new normal’.

Cebu City, the province’s capital where over 1,700 COVID-19 patients have been recorded, will be placed under a modified ECQ starting Saturday, May 16, 2020.

Meeting

The Cebu Provincial government, led by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, convened all mayors on Friday to discuss possible policies in line with IATF – MEID’s guidelines as they transition to GCQ.

Among the concerns raised by mayors were the capacity of the modes of public transportation allowed to operate, which business establishments to operate, and additional health protocols especially for those working in Cebu City.

In a follow-up press conference, Garcia told members of the media that while they would be about to transition to GCQ this Wednesday, they would still continue to implement border controls.

The governor also said their inclination to proceed to the new normal had been based on data, adding that they now had sufficient information compared in the outbreak’s early stages last February.

“Unsaon nato pag uswag na nga lansang naman ta ug atubang ug atiman ang COVID-19 (How can we move forward since we have been focusing on taking care of COVID-19). All financial and human resources tua tanan nakafocus (are all focused there). Everything is else is put on hold. It’s time to move on. And I’m saying that based on analysis and backed up by data. This is data driven,” she said.

As of May 14, Cebu province has tallied a total of 60 confirmed COVID-19 cases with eight deaths, and five recoveries. They have sent over 1,500 samples for testing./dbs

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