Labella okay with extending MGCQ until December
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella supports the recommendation of extending the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the city until December 2020.
The MGCQ extension was the recommendation of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) as a precaution to the crowding of people expected during the Christmas season.
“For as long as the virus is within our midst, as long as the coronavirus naa lang gihapon, kinahanglan naa sad kanunay ang quarantine. Uyon kaayo ko,” said Labella.
(For as long as the virus is within our midst, as long as the coronavirus is there, there is a need for quarantine. I approve of it.)
There would be no let-up in health protocols because there is no vaccine for the coronavirus yet and complacency would only lead to another wave of cases.
Despite this, the mayor said there had to be a way to reopen the economy despite the continuous implementation of basic health protocols. This is why he led a multisectoral meeting on October 13, 2020 to discuss how to improve coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevention.
Labella said that the city government had its ears open for the recommendations of the business sector, which had suffered too much through the long quarantine period.
Yet if the activities or establishments would risk the health of the people, the city government would not yet allow these to happen or open, he said.
In the recent recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), lockdowns are now frowned upon especially in developing countries.
Instead, testing, tracing, and isolation must replace the community lockdowns to avoid further impact on the already struggling economy.
This is especially true for developing countries like the Philippines especially for places that rely heavily on tourism such as Cebu.
Labella said that the local government unit (LGU) would always know what is best for its constituents and he added that he will not hesitate a lockdown if cases reach over the limit again.
For the time being, the cases have plateaued and there is no need for widespread lockdown except for the usual isolation and occasional granular lockdown.
The focuses of the city government is to adapt the economy into the new normal way of life people will have to live with as no vaccine for the coronavirus is developed.
As for tourism, the Cebu City Tourism Commission is already preparing the comeback of tourists by developing a mobile application that would help them tour safely. /dbs
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