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Cimatu to visit Cebu City barangays to assess COVID-19 situation

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | June 23,2020 - 07:00 PM

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu (right most) arrives in Cebu City to assess the COVID-19 situation in the city. | Photo courtesy of OPAV

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), who was sent to oversee the Interagency Task Force (IATF) operations in Cebu City, said he will be going to the barangays (villages) to assess the situation in the ground.

Cimatu addressed the Cebuanos on June 23, 2020, as he began his new task of ensuring that the COVID-19 strategic operation are being properly implemented in the highly affected city.

Read: Duterte to send Cimatu to Cebu to monitor COVID-19 situation

“I would like to go down to the barangays, especially to the barangay captains in the city to ask what they should. I want to ask them what they can do, how they can help this problem in the city,” said Cimatu.

One of the barangays that Cimatu will visit is Barangay Mambaling, which recorded more than 600 cases of the COVID-19, although only 14 are left active.

Cimatu, who was once assigned in Cebu during his time as a lieutenant in the army, said the area is a major cause of concern because it has always been a depressed and overpopulated area.

He said he would like to check the situation in the area, the configuration of the barangay, for a basic assessment if the area will need to remain under hard lockdown.

“The President acknowledges that there is a crisis and we are instructed to help alleviate the situation of the people. When we have the full cooperation of the people, we can stop the bleeding, ihinto natin ang pagrise ng infection, then we have flattened the curve,” said Cimatu.

He will also be looking into the health situation, the quarantine, the testing, and the implementation of the ECQ guidelines.

Detect, test, isolate, treat

Cimatu said that the IATF is trying to avoid letting the situation get out of hand, which will force the national government to step in and implement the ECQ guidelines.

He said the situation does not call for force from the police or intervention of the army yet, and based on experience, he trusts Cebuanos will comply with a little prodding.

Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that what the IATF will be doing in Cebu is to ensure that the ECQ is properly implemented as well as ensure that the many concerns of the city’s COVID-19 situation will be addressed.

The strategy remains: detect, test, isolate, and treat.

Año said the strategy worked for the National Capital Region, and with proper implementation, they expect it to work for Cebu City as well.

“We have to control the movement, so we need to place Cebu City under ECQ. We need to focus on areas with largest number of cases, isolate the positive cases and treat them. If we can do that, we can let Cebu City graduate to a lower quarantine status. This strategy worked in the National Capital Region, but we will adapt to the need of the region,” said Año. /bmjo


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TAGS: Cebu City, COVID-19, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, IATF, Interagency Task Force, OPAV, Roy Cimatu

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