Active cases in Cebu City drop to 87, but rise in cases feared
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City greeted the penultimate week of 2020 with less than 100 active cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
While this is a welcoming development, local officials here, however, feared the possibility of another surge of new cases following crowd gathering observed outside churches for the Misa de Gallo (dawn Masses) in the past few days.
Data from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), compiled by CDN Digital, showed that Cebu City has sustained its trend of reporting more recoveries than new cases in one week.
From December 13 to December 19, a total of 115 COVID-19 patients were declared to have been fully recovered from the infection.
In the same period, the city logged a total of 32 new confirmed cases and one mortality related to the disease that has undeniably changed the course of humanity this year.
As a result, Cebu City’s active COVID-19 cases, which refer to patients still infected with SARS-CoV-2, dropped to 87 as of December 19.
The city has already documented a total of 10, 740 confirmed cases of the infection, in which 9,964 were recoveries while 689 were mortalities.
Crowd outside churches
Mayor Edgardo Labella, on Friday, December 18, expressed concerns that the overflowing crowd noted in several churches in Cebu City attending the Misa de Gallo (dawn Masses) could result in another spike of COVID-19 cases here.
Labella, in turn, instructed the City Health Department and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to anticipate the possibility of a surge of new confirmed infections.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma also joined the local government’s calls, urging devotees to be mindful of health protocols while attending religious activities for the Holiday season.
RELATED STORY: Follow IATF policies for Dawn Masses, Palma tells faithful
Authorities here allowed the conduct of dawn Masses and Simbang Gabi despite threats of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is subject to the implementation of health protocols.
During the first, two days of Misa de Gallo, on December 16 and December 17, the crowd gathering outside churches such as the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu, was observed to have little to no regard for social distancing.
RELATED STORY: More security personnel, venues needed for Misa de Gallo
But officials, including police, remained hopeful that this would not lead to another wave of new COVID-19 cases, which Cebu City experienced last June when it downgraded from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ).
Since September, Cebu City has been placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the most relaxed form of community quarantine. /dbs
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