EOC foresees second wave amid rising trend of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 12,2020 - 03:35 PM
The EOC is worried that a second wave of COVID-19 cases will happen if people will not follow health protocols. Photo is about workers from Cebu City Health Department taking swab samples from residents in Sitio Callejon, Barangay Labangon in this April 20, 2020 file photo.

Workers from the Cebu City Health Department take swab samples from residents in Sitio Callejon, Barangay Labangon in this April 2020 file photo.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is foreseeing a second wave for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the city as new cases have increased in the past seven days.

The EOC is alarmed by the rise of the cases from single-digit numbers per day to the most recent 28 new recorded cases on November 11, 2020, where more new cases are recorded than recoveries.

Read: Cebu City’s COVID-19 active cases rise to 185

In the data presented to the media, the new cases surpassed the recoveries. Exponential growth for the cases is predicted, as more cases are expected to surface with contact tracing intensified for these newly recorded cases.

With this, Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementor of the EOC, appealed to the public anew to be more vigilant and to religiously follow the health protocols to reduce the transmission rate.

“I’m telling you first world countries with superior health care systems, nag second wave man gani, nangalocked down man gani. Kita pa kaha? (they have a second wave, they implemented lockdowns. Then, how about us?) Our message in the EOC is we should celebrate Christmas nga together ta, kumpleto ta (that we are together, that we are complete),” said Garganera.

The COVID-19 cases is slowly catching up to the recoveries. | Source: Cebu City EOC

Due to the pressing concern of a possible second wave, the EOC is now asking the Cebu City Police Office to intensify the monitoring and apprehension of quarantine violators.

The EOC has set up an area in Barangay Labangon for a detention facility for quarantine violators. Beds and other equipment will be placed there since there is not enough space for these violators at the police station detention cells.

As of now, the penalties for quarantine violators have not been fully implemented due to amendments the City Council would like to make for the ordinance.

Watch: The Emergency Operations Center tackles the trend of rising COVID-19 cases in Cebu City

Garganera is suggesting to raise the penalty for first-time violators to P1,000 so people would hesitate to violate the protocols with an option for an 8-hour community service.

The police are also requested to be more intensive in checkpoints and checking public transport for health protocol compliance.

The EOC is now working with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to track and flag down rooms, condos, and apartments for rent that have been subleased to clubs and bars just so these establishments can operate despite the order for their closures during the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

The agency wants the quarantine passes to be checked and evaluated intensively at checkpoints and establishments so people would no longer go out if would be unnecessary.

Garganera said Mayor Edgardo Labella had already instructed them to increase the contact tracing and put up additional mitigating measures for the rising cases.

The mayor is set to address the city on Friday, November 13, 2020, for the city’s next move over the COVID-19 situation.

“This serves as a warning. If this trend will continue then it’s not isolated that before the end of the month we will lockdown,” said the councilor. 

The EOC may be recommending granular lockdown since the city cannot afford another economic downfall with the tight current situation for the business sector.

However, if worse comes to worse, a lockdown of the city just like in July and August may be necessary. The compliance of the people will be the biggest factor for the decision.

“We will look into the demographics. It could be a total lockdown in some areas, establishments as well, or granular,” said the councilor. /dbs

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