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Galvez: Cebu City still needs ‘stringent’ restrictions

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 29,2020 - 04:32 PM
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella tours Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. at the Cebu City Quarantine Center. | Photo Courtesy of Cebu City PIO

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella tours Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. at the Cebu City Quarantine Center. | Photo Courtesy of Cebu City PIO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — While the public awaits the President’s announcement on the post-June 30 quarantine status of the country, Secretary Carlito Galvez, National Task Force chief implementer, hints that Cebu City still needs more “stringent” restrictions amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation here.

In a televised presser with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, June 29, 2020, Galvez said they projected that the surge of cases in the city might span for two to three weeks, which was similar to what was experienced in the National Capital Region during the start of the quarantine period from March until mid-April.

Although Cebu City followed suit in the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on March 28, Galvez said the first round of ECQ in Cebu City, which lasted until May 31, was not properly implemented.

On June 16, Cebu City reverted to ECQ from a 2-week downgrade to a general community quarantine (GCQ) after the national government noted an increase in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases here. The status, based on the IATF’S resolution will last at least until June 30.

“We don’t want to preempt yung pronouncement ni Presidente [but] nakikita namin talaga na kailangan pa ng stringent restrictions. Na-find out namin na noong nag-ECQ sila, hindi ito properly implemented. That was why General Año was prompted to deploy more SAF forces there in Cebu City,”  Galvez said.

(We don’t want to preempt the pronouncement of the President [but] we see that we really need more stringent restrictions here. We found out that at the time when they implemented the ECQ, it was not properly implemented. That was why General Año was prompted to deploy more SAF troops there in Cebu City.)

Over 100 Special Action Forces (SAF) personnel have arrived in Cebu City last June 26 in order to strictly enforce the quarantine control measures in the city.

READ: SAF will stay until virus stops spreading – Ferro

Galvez said at least 19 barangays in Cebu City were being closely monitored because of the COVID-19 cases.

The retired general said there was now better alignment among the local government units, where the barangays had set aside political differences to make way for the quarantine implementation, and the uniformed men of the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to make the announcement on the quarantine control status of the different areas in the country on Tuesday, June 30.

Severe, critical cases still increasing

Meanwhile, Galvez also said that during their visits in Cebu, they noted that the severe and critical cases of COVID-19 here, as well as the case fatality rate was still increasing.

“Ang nakita lang po namin ay tumataas po yung mga tinatawag nating mga severe at critical cases. In fact, pati yung rate of death, tumataas na rin,” Galvez said.

(We saw what we call severe and critical cases as increasing. In fact, even the rate of death has also increased.)

“Sa Vicente Sotto (Memorial Medical Center), mayroon silang presentation, out of 122 deaths ang nakita nila is very critical sa information nila is less than 48 hours namamatay, 86. Meaning, yung severe cases nila, hindi nila nade-detect kaagad,” Galvez said.

(In Vicente Sotto [Memorial Medical Center], in their presentation, out of 122 deaths what they see is a very critical information from them that in less than 48 hours, 86 patients died. Meaning, those severe cases, they did not detect them right away.)

READ: More symptomatic patients among new COVID cases

In the same press briefing, Roque also showed a comparative graph on the critical care utilization in the different regions in relation to COVID-19.

In the data presented by Roque, Central Visayas is already nearing the high risk phase in the utilization of its critical care capacity.

The spokesman said the critical care capacity utilization in NCR is even at a better state compared to that of Central Visayas where the bulk of cases are in Cebu City.

As of June 28, Cebu City has a total of 5,794 cases of COVID-19, where 3,278 cases are active, 2,359 have recovered and 157 have died.

Of the active cases in Cebu City, 1,617 are confined to the hospitals which accounts to 69.67 percent of COVID-19 patients in the entire region that are under hospital care./dbs

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