Cimatu admits he was ‘worried’ of COVID-19 cases in Cebu province

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - CDN Digital | August 04,2020 - 07:35 PM

Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu talks with Mayors Samsam Gullas (Talisay City) and Kristine Chiong (City of Naga) after an IATF meeting with local chief executives on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. CDN Digital Photo | Rosalie Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Interagency Task Force (IATF) Chief Implementer for the Visayas Sec. Roy Cimatu urged local government units in Cebu province to continue their COVID-19 responses as he admitted that he was getting worried about the additional infections being logged in the province recently.

Cimatu, in an interview after his meeting with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and the town and city mayors in a function complex in Cebu City on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, admitted that he was “worried” of the province particularly in terms of healthcare capacity.

“I am a little worried if mag-continue na mag-rise yan sa Cebu province,” Cimatu said.

“Yung ma-overwhelm yung health service natin. Kasi kung meron nang Cebu City, kung mag-rise pa yung Cebu province… kasi noon nung nag-rise ang Cebu City, mababa yung cases nga Cebu province pero umaangat na kasi yung Cebu province,” he added.

(I am worried that the health services sector might be overwhelmed since there are already a number of cases in Cebu City, what more if the cases in the province will also rise. Before when the cases in Cebu City were increasing, the cases in the province were low but now, it is starting to rise.)

During the meeting where Garcia presented the COVID-19 situation in the province, the governor assured that the province still has “more than enough” space in its provincial and district hospitals as the current occupancy rate of the COVID-dedicated beds is only at 24 percent.

Although he said that he was quite contented with the response of both Cebu City and Cebu province, Cimatu said the local government should continue to enforce health protocols to prevent the province from turning into another Metro Manila.

“Ganyan ang sinasabi nila noon sa Manila nang biglang hindi na nahinto . Sana hindi na maulit dito. Sana hindi ma-experience dito kasi it’s a pity na nag-sacrifice na ang Cebu City, tapos itong province nadamay,” Cimatu said.

(That was also the case of Manila before then suddenly the cases continue to go up. I hope this will not happen here because it would be a pity if Cebu City had already sacrificed but the cases have already then the province would also be dragged in.)

The shoot up in the number of cases in Cebu province began in June when the Capitol opened the province borders to its residents who were working in Cebu City.

However, during the meeting, Garcia said the number of recoveries has already overtaken the active cases in the province. As of the August 3 data of the Department of Health (DOH-7), the province only has over 700 active cases remaining.

“We just cannot be looking at numbers. We have to look at the actual situation and the actual situation is not reflected in the cumulative total. It is reflected in how many are the active cases and pila man gyud ani ang critical?” Garcia said in a separate interview after the meeting.

“Do we have enough bed capacity nga di ma-overwhelm ang healthcare system? We have shown them nga even with our own lang, with the provincial and district hospitals, we have more than enough. Our bed occupancy is only at 24 percent,” Garcia added. /bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu province, COVID-19, Gwendolyn Garcia, Metro Manila, Roy Cimatu

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