Expert tells Cebu to act now against Delta variant

By: Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | July 27,2021 - 08:17 PM
Cebu City

Cebu City has breached the 2,000-mark again in COVID-19 infections while its top officials bicker. |CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A Cebuano infectious disease expert told Cebu City and other Cebu LGUs not to wait for the confirmation of a Delta Variant of the COVID-19 and start preparing as early as now.

Doctor Bryan Lim, an infectious disease expert who serves as a consultant for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), raised his concerns to the local government units (LGUs) in a meeting at the Visayas Vaccine Operations Center (VVOC) about the rising cases and how Cebu can mitigate this.

In a later interview with CDN Digital, he said that the rise in cases is a cause for concern but Cebu is in a far better position to deal with it than before.

He said that Cebu especially Cebu City must apply everything they have learned during the 1st and 2nd waves and which strategies work or don’t.

“We were able to strengthen our pandemic response, from testing, contact tracing, isolation, and treatment. But the most important lesson we’ve learned is that it requires an all-of-society approach to control this pandemic, and this involves each and everyone one of us.”

Still, there is a degree of vigilance that LGUs must maintain because the threat of Delta variant will always be there and even without it, the current COVID-19 situation can change anytime.

“Many have asked me whether the Delta variant is here. As of now, there are no official reports, but we need to understand that genome sequencing capacity is limited. I think it is best to prepare beforehand and not wait for any detected Delta. Still, despite the best efforts of even the most developed and the richest countries, success is determined by everyone’s cooperation.

For Lim, the LGUs are working hard in improving the pandemic response including improving transportation safety, workplace safety, and the strict enforcement of rules.

He also praised the health sector leaders for stocking up supplies, medications, and equipment, as well as improving the referral system and capacity of health facilities.

These are clear indications that Cebu is preparing well for the Delta variant, but he said the LGUs can keep doing better especially since the cases are still on the rise.

“I am hopeful, and with lots of prayers, that when we all come together and work together, we can do this. It’s not going to be easy, but we must never give up and we should continue to fight. Let us support the pandemic response especially the Emergency Operations Center,” said Lim.

Cebu City Acting Mayor Michael Rama told CDN Digital that they are responding immediately to the call of the experts for more vigilance and preparations for the Delta variant.

He said that in their inter-sectoral and inter-agency meeting on Tuesday afternoon, they were told that there needs to be unanimity in implementing policies in Cebu to battle the current rise of cases.

“This is a serious, scary situation. Unanimity is required, we should be operating in one voice,” the vice-mayor explained.

Recently the tri-cities have all imposed a liquor ban on the same day to prevent the surge of cases. Rama said the move is consistent with his views that Cebu must be unified in combatting the COVID-19.  /rcg

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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu LGUs, COVID-19, Delta variant, Dr. Bryan Lim, early preparation, EOC, pandemic

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