Cimatu: Cebu City may be placed under GCQ starting August 1

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 22,2020 - 12:19 PM

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, the Interagency Task Force (IATF) overseer in Cebu. | File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines –Cebuanos have something to look forward to.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, the overseer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in Cebu, said that there is now a big possibility for Cebu to be placed under general community quarantine starting August 1.

With a more relaxed quarantine status, more businesses will already be allowed to resume operations while more employees are expected back at work, Cimatu was quoted saying in an advisory that was released by the Public Information Agency (PIA) this Wednesday morning, July 22.

Cimatu gave credit to the extensive contact tracing that is now being implemented in Cebu City for its possible shift to GCQ starting next month.

Read: Cebu City’s COVID trend: More recoveries than new cases

“We are making progress now because of contact tracing. I am expecting na bababa (ang cases sa Cebu City) by next week. So, hopefully by the end of the month, we’ll go down to GCQ,” he said.

The environment secretary gave his report during a meeting with members of the local business community on Tuesday, July 21.

Cimatu told businessmen that the government is “implementing all possible measures to address the health situation in the city and breathe life into its economy.”

Also during the meeting, business owners were made to share their best practices and give some inputs on how the city “can move forward” when placed under GCQ.

“What you said, Sir, is good news. Businesses are now more health-conscious and I believe we are better equipped this time (for re-opening),” said Felix Taguiam, president of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

Taguiam said that while the economy is now hurting from the pandemic, he expressed optimism that Cebu City and the rest of the Cebu will be able to recover soon.

“Most of the business owners in the City are traders. The Chamber has 391 members, and right now I already received 92 requests for closure,” he said.

Major Gen. Mel Feliciano, who is assisting Cimatu in Cebu, said the IATF will review the “Project Balik Buhay,” a joint initiative of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), Department of Health (DOH) Region VII, local government units in Cebu, and the private sector.

The project aims to “gradually re-open the community through a calibrated, scientific, and evidence-based transition from ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) to GCQ.”

“We will meet with the business sector to explore how the IATF can integrate this program into our policy direction, so that the needs of the communities, especially the workers whose jobs were greatly affected by the pandemic, can be addressed,” Feliciano said. / dcb


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TAGS: Cimatu, downgrade of status, extensive contact tracing, GCQ, starting August 1

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