CEBU CITY, Philippines – Netizens shared their thoughts on the challenge for Cebu City to become coronavirus-free before the year ends.
Just like Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, some netizens told CDN Digital that they were optimistic that this could be achieved.
But there are also those who think that this was impossible considering that the infection remains a major threat not just in the city but in the entire country as well.
During his Cebu visit on October 22, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who is also the chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in the Visayas, challenged local officials to bring to zero the number of active COVID-19 cases here.
In response, Labella dangled a P100,000 cash reward to barangays that would sustain a COVID-free status from November 1 to December 31, 2020.
If all of the 80 barangays will be able to achieve a COVID-free status by the end of the year, the city government will have to shell out P8 million from its coffers to pay the reward offer.
The October 23 data from the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) showed that a total of 44 of the 80 barangays could now be considered as COVID-free. These barangays did not also log any new cases in the last 14 days.
CDN Digital published an online poll on Friday, October 23, in all of its social media handles to ask for netizens’ opinion on Cimatu’s challenge.
There were some netizens who said that a COVID-free status was possible provided that Cebuanos would continue to adopt the minimum health standards and protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields in public places.
“Yes. If all will follow health protocols and be responsible citizens, and let’s all be disciplined,” Facebook user Melanie Ramos said.
“Yes, if we continue doing all the best practices that we’re doing now,” added Nhel Bontuyan.
Eddie Patigdas also expressed optimism that Cimatu’s challenge was doable.
“Way imposibli pinaagi sa pag abay sa batang Hesus ang Señor Sto. Niño inubanan pud sa atong paningkamot pagsunod sa mga patakaran,” said Patigdas.
(Nothing is impossible with the help of the child Jesus, the Señor Sto. Niño paired with our effort to comply with government regulations.)
Instagram user Angela Kristina Segura Español (username: kporeo) shared the sentiments of Ramos and Bontuyan that discipline would be the key in winning the city’s fight against the infection.
Others, on the other hand, said that Cebu City’s campaign to become a COVID-free zone before the year would end was impossible.
Twitter user Amnotcarl said that working to become a COVID-free city was ‘pointless’ if other parts of the country would continue to report cases of the infection.
Facebook user Nenet Kintanar’s reply to the CDN poll was also a ‘no’ citing the continued influx of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) here.
“LSIs can go back home. All Cebu can do is to control local transmission in case an LSI is COVID-19 positive,” Kintanar posted.
Dario Dayondon and Tatu Saarinen, who are both from Cebu City, said Cimatu’s challenge was not doable.
Both said that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, would remain a threat considering that there was no working vaccine available this year.
Maybe in 2021
There were also a handful of netizens, like Facebook user Mike Demz, who shared their belief that Cebu City would likely achieve a COVID-free status in 2021 yet.
“No chance before 2020 ends, but there will be a chance mid-2021. But still, it depends on the Cebuanos that cooperate. Let all Cebuanos be responsible for following all the rules that given to the government and authorities, wear proper face masks, social distancing and most of all wash your hands at least 10 times a day, and don’t forget to take your Vitamin C every day – that’s all you need to put this Covid-19 down before you put yourself down,” commented Demz./ dcb
Reporter’s note: This is an informal survey conducted and released online by CDN Digital.