Cimatu cites ‘cooperation’ in Cebu City’s fight vs COVID

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | August 31,2020 - 08:23 PM

Cimatu cites ‘cooperation’ in Cebu City’s fight vs COVID

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and retired Major General Mel Feliciano of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Visayas inspect several potential locations in Cebu City that can be utilized as public cemeteries in this July 2020 photo. | Photo courtesy from IATF-Visayas

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Monday, August 31, officially capped his two-month stay here in Cebu City to oversee the government’s coronavirus response.

Cimatu, in a press conference on Monday, announced that he was expected to arrive in Bacolod City tomorrow, Tuesday (September 1).

But a day before his departure, Cimatu congratulated the Cebuano community for bringing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak here to manageable levels.

“I (would) like to congratulate the Cebuanos. We did it. The number of active cases has gone down because we have more recoveries,” said Cimatu.

Read: Labella: Big possibility Cebu City will have MGCQ

The chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in the Visayas pointed to ‘cooperation between local officials and private individuals’ as the contributing factor in Cebu City’s success in flattening the curve.

“It’s the people themselves. They themselves already (did) the things taught to them, especially on our health protocols and guidelines,” said Cimatu.

He also particularly stressed the importance of cooperation at the barangay level.

“Success of the containment of the virus is in the barangay. And if the barangay officials have the will, the people will follow,” said Cimatu.

Cimatu, together with IATF-Visayas Deputy Chief Implementer and Retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano will be leaving Cebu to help Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, and Iloilo City with their fight against COVID-19.

READ MORE: Feliciano to leave Cebu for Iloilo and Bacolod; EOC remains

For his part, Feliciano said ‘collaborative efforts’ made by personnel manning Cebu City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) also contributed to the success in pushing down the city’s epidemic curve.

“May naging sistema and practices na-establish and they were effectively implemented dahil sa pagkakaisa nang mga clusters…” said Feliciano.

(There’s already a system and established practices, and they were effectively implemented because of unity among the clusters.)

In the meantime, Cimatu also reminded Cebuanos to always comply with health protocols if it meant sustaining the gains and efforts made in addressing the virus outbreak here.

“While we have done that (flattening the curve) already, we should not be complacent. Hindi pa tapos ito. Marami pa tayong baguhin (It is still not done. We have a lot to change),” he added.

It can be recalled that last July, President Rodrigo Duterte directed Cimatu to intervene and oversee Cebu City’s outbreak response when a spike in COVID-19 cases here led the national government to revert its quarantine status back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Cebu City was downgraded to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) last August 1 and is expected to last until today, August 31. /dbs

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TAGS: COVID-19 in Cebu City, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID)

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