Public reminded: Don’t discriminate COVID patients or face penalties
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Local officials here reminded the public to avoid discriminating against patients with COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Otherwise, they could face civil and criminal charges.
“Some Covid-19 patients complained about discrimination, I would just like to remind the public to refrain from doing it,” said Councilor Dave Tumulak on Sunday, July 11.
Tumulak made this statement after he was informed that several residents would take pictures and videos of COVID-19 patients being transported from their respective residences to the isolation facilities.
“Nag meeting ko sa mga (I had a meeting with the) extracting team, including Harold Alcontin (Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Operations Head) and Kons Joel (Emergency Operations Center head Councilor Joel Garganera), to inform our extracting team to inform neighbors sa patient to refrain from doing it or else they would face consequences. Labi (Especially) taking of pictures and videos,” he explained.
“Last year, during pandemic, mga taw manago ug mag extract ug patient. But now lagi, mga taw manggawas ang uban mag video, mag take ug pictures sa mga extracting team and the patients,” he added.
(Last year, during the pandemic, people would hide when the team would be extracting patients. But right now, people would go out of their houses, some of them would take videos, pictures of the extracting team and the patients.)
In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city council passed an ordinance that penalizes anyone caught and proven to have discriminated against patients with the infection.
City Ordinance No. 2573 also applies to patients either suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 and other forms of communicable diseases.
First-time offenders can face a penalty of P1,000 as a fine. It will increase to P3,000 for second-time offenders, and P5,000 for third-time offenders.
Violators could also be imprisoned for one day to 30 days, regardless of the frequency of their violation.
Cebu City is currently experiencing ‘another spike’ of new COVID-19 cases, according to experts and authorities.
As of July 10, the latest COVID bulletin from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) showed that the city’s number of active cases breached the 1,000-mark once again.
After they logged 114 additional patients on the same date, the number of active infections here jumped to 1,077.
On the other hand, Cebu City also recorded 42 newly recovered patients on July 10, bringing the total number of recoveries to 24,485.
Fortunately, there were no new COVID-related deaths made on that day, keeping the toll at 886.
The city, which has been under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) since September 2020, has already tallied a total of 26,448 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
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