Rama hopes Alert Level 1 for Cebu City by Jan 2022
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said that he wants the city to further ease its restrictions, and be placed under Alert Level 1 by January 2022.
Rama on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, said he is confident that the city will be able to achieve ‘herd immunity’ before the year ends.
If so, the mayor added that he is hoping Cebu City’s Alert Level 2 quarantine status will be downgraded to Alert Level 1.
“(Achieving herd immunity) will just be a matter of time… I’m seeing herd immunity is not far away and why not, (we can be placed under) classification Alert Level 1. We have to aspire (for it) as Alert Level 1 means more freedom,” Rama told reporters in a press interview.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on December 7 announced that only 23 highly urbanized cities (HUCs) around the country managed to reach herd immunity.
This meant that around 70 percent of their population were already inoculated against COVID-19.
In Cebu, only Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu made it to the list.
Cebu City, the province’s capital, posted a vaccination coverage rate of 64 percent, six points shy of the 70 percent benchmark.
However, it is important to note that Cebu City is more populous compared to the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, the City Health Department pointed out.
“We congratulate Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu for achieving herd immunity,” Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, City Health Officer, said.
“Here in Cebu City, we are confident we will achieve herd immunity before the year ends. We’ve already gone beyond the 60 percent mark today,” he added.
Central Visayas only has three HUCs – Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, with a combined population of around 1.6 million.
Among all three, Cebu City is the most populous, based on the 2020 census with 964,169. It is followed by Lapu-Lapu with 497,604 and Mandaue with 364,116.
The city is currently placed under Alert Level 2 and is expected to last until December 31.
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