Labella confident about GCQ extension for Cebu City

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 14,2020 - 03:36 PM
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella | CDN File Photo

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella | CDN File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is optimistic and confident the city will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ), and will not revert to an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

I am confident we can get a GCQ status because I don’t think it would be fair if we revert back to ECQ when in fact our recovery rate is much higher, and we have the lowest mortality rate in the entire country,” said Labella in a phone interview with Cebu Daily News Digital on Sunday, June 14.

This Monday, June 15, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the fate of Cebu City and National Capital Region (NCR), considered as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspots in the country.

But Malacañang, citing initial recommendations from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF), said the President was left with only two options — an extension of GCQ or reverting to a stricter modified ECQ (MECQ).

READ MORE: Duterte options: Longer GCQ or back to stricter quarantine

A week before President Duterte is scheduled to make the announcement, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Cebu City has increased.

But in his earlier interviews, Labella said this was due to the backlogs or pending swab samples being processed already.

READ MORE: Increase in Cebu City COVID-19 cases due to delay in release of results – Labella

Top officials from the IATF, led by its chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., visited Cebu City last Thursday to inspect the COVID-19 situation here.

As of June 13, the city has documented a total of 3,434 COVID-19 cases. Of these figure, 1,858 have already recovered while 37 have passed away.

This means that its recovery rate is at 54.11 percent while its case-fatality rate is at 1.08 percent.

Observations previously published by the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH – 7) show that majority of COVID-19 patients in Cebu City died due to other causes such as those with pre-existing health conditions.

MGCQ not fit for Cebu City

The IATF has allowed Cebu City to loosen its ECQ status to a more relaxed GCQ last June 1.

READ MORE: Cebu City under GCQ starting June 1

But despite posting high recovery and low COVID-19 death rates, Labella said easing the quarantine restrictions further would still not be appropriate at this point.

“While I am confident we will have our GCQ status, I am not comfortable with having a modified GCQ because there still has a lot to be done with,” said Labella in a mix of English and Cebuano.

“When we mean modified GCQ, a lot of people can already go out, and some leisure services can resume. But at this rate, we still need to be very vigilant, and on guard. We have to remind the public to continue to observe health protocols such as wearing masks, and physical distancing,” he added. /dbs

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TAGS: Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, Cebu City's quarantine status, General Community Quarantine, Labella confident GCQ extension for Cebu City

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