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This Week in Cebu (April 19 to 25, 2020)

Sitio Zapatera in Cebu is placed under lockdown after 3 residents test positive for COVID-19.

By: Yoorekka Team | April 19, 2020

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Cebu, enhanced community quarantine, COVID-19, Quarantine News, lockdown, Health News

While the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is still in effect in Cebu City, the government made commuting easier for the medical staff of Cebu City Medical Center by providing free scheduled bus rides. Meanwhile, Sitio Zapatera has been placed on lockdown after three residents tested positive for COVID-19. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, only one entrance to the Carbon Public Market was opened to monitor the consumers inside the market. In terms of banking and finance news, banks are requested to waive remittance fees of overseas Filipino workers while the Social Security System (SSS) announced that they will not give penalties for delayed payments.

For some good news, an association of Cebu doctors volunteered to give free online consultations and a Cebuano also developed a mobile application that will help the Department of Health (DOH) trace possible infected individuals. For the safety of the Muslim community, lockdown and social distancing measures will be followed during Ramadan this year. Lastly, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave pointers and warned nations about easing lockdown measures against COVID-19. Scroll down for more news about COVID-19 in Cebu City and more.


Quarantine News: Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz placed under lockdown


Since April 7, Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz has been on lockdown after one of the residents tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Two more COVID-19 positive cases have been recorded in the same barangay, so more police personnel are stationed to secure the entry and exit points. The houses in Sitio Zapatera are congested and the entire area houses around 9,000 people—making officials worry that the disease might spread and infect the whole barangay. They are closely monitoring the residents, especially those living near the confirmed cases. The needs of Sitio Zapatera residents are provided by the government since the lockdown was implemented.



Transportation News: Free bus rides for CCMC workers


The Land Transportation Office (LTO)-7 has offered free bus rides to all the medical staff of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) [2]. In partnership with Librando Transit, the medical workers of CCMC can easily commute during the ECQ in the city. These are the schedules of the free bus rides:

5:00 AM - Starmall to CCMC
6:00 AM - CCMC to Starmall
7:00 AM - Starmall to CCMC (excluded on holidays)
5:00 PM - Starmall to CCMC
6:00 PM - CCMC to Starmall
7:00 PM - Starmall to CCMC

Social distancing and passenger body inspection before entry to the buses will be done to prevent the spread of the disease.


Shopping News: Carbon Public Market shoppers can enter only through Escaño Street


Cebuanos wishing to purchase food in Carbon Public Market in Barangay Ermita need to use the entrance in Escaño Street while the ECQ is in effect [3]. Only one entry was opened to limit the people inside the premises and to make sure that distancing is observed. This was implemented after people flocked to the market to buy ingredients for the famous Lenten treat “binignit,” a sweet dish made of yam, sticky rice, and coconut milk. The current setup was agreed upon by the City Government and is manned by the Philippine National Police.


Banks, Remittances, and Payment News


ACTS-OFW urged banks to waive remittance fees

To help migrant Filipino workers and their dependents, the Alliance for Community Transformation and Service Overseas Filipino Workers (ACTS-OFW) urged banks to waive their cash remittance fees. Families that depend on cash transfers from overseas can benefit during the ECQ if the fees will be waived. ACTS-OFW Chairman Aniceto Bertiz III said that if banks give up their remittance fees for just a month, an extra PhP14 billion would proceed to the families of OFWs.



The Philippine National Bank has already set an example since they allowed OFWs to send money without a charge from April 9 to May 8. Bertiz also noted that even if banks waive their fees, they would still be making a bit of money from their foreign exchange bid-ask spread [4].

Payment dues extended for SSS contributors and members

The Social Security System has extended its payment dues for contributors and members who took out loans. No penalties will be applied to self-employed, voluntary members, and non-working spouses with contributions for the first quarter of the year, and they can pay until June 1, 2020. As to loan payments for February to April 2020, they may be settled until June 30 without penalties and interests. Qualified members do not need to arrange a request and will be covered by the loan moratorium [5].


Health News


Free medical consultation online for Cebuanos

Sugbo Volunteer Doctors Online announced on their Facebook page that they will be providing care to people online. The organization is composed of 66 medical and surgical specialists who are affiliated with different hospitals in Cebu City. They have volunteered to help patients who are in need of non-emergency medical attention [6].



The group is using “Telemedicine” as a tool for online appointments and consultations; both the tool and consultation are free. Sugbo Volunteer Doctors Online advises the public to follow the rules on how to book an appointment. If you want to book a consultation, you can message their Facebook page by clicking this link: https://www.facebook.com/SugboVolunteerDoctors/


Health Advisories: Cebuano develops tracing app to help fight COVID-19


Eddie Ybañez, an information technology expert from Cebu City, has developed a mobile application for tracing persons who could have made contact with COVID-19 confirmed cases [7]. The application was made to be used by the Department of Health (DOH) for tracing possible patients. It is named “WeTrace” and it can locate, track, map, do case-reporting, message, and alert the DOH, according to Sugbo News. WeTrace can be installed in Android devices and can be found in Google Play for free. The app won’t violate the privacy of these contacts since it uses QR code generation for tracking.


Global News: WHO discourages abrupt easing of coronavirus restrictions


The World Health Organization (WHO) warns nations across the globe that control measures such as lockdowns must be lifted slowly and with control [8]. WHO stressed that COVID-19 is ten times deadlier and spreads faster than the 2009 flu pandemic. The virus has infected more than 1.8 million people in the world and has killed at least 115,000 since it started to spread in China over three months ago. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlined a checklist for countries before lifting lockdowns:

• The spread of the coronavirus should be managed.
• Isolation, detection, and the treating of patients should be observed.
• There should be a minimization of outbreaks in medical facilities and nursing homes.
• Schools and workplaces should follow preventive measures.
• Importing the disease from abroad should not be put to risk and must be under control.



Meanwhile, WHO officials are still waiting for results from randomized controlled trials about the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus. Doctor Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program, said that there is no empirical evidence from randomized control trials that the hydroxychloroquine works. He also noted that not all patients who recover from the virus are guaranteed to be immune to a second infection.


Holiday News: Ramadan will abide by ECQ guidelines


Alexander Minalang, regional director of the National Commission on Muslin Filipinos-Visayas urged the Muslim community in Cebu to observe the enhanced community quarantine guidelines during the month of Ramadan. He encouraged the Muslim community to follow social distancing measures in mosques and to temporarily suspend mass gatherings even from the beginning of the crisis. Ramadan is expected to start on April 24, and devout Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset in a practice called “sawm.” This year’s Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, will be canceled for the Muslim community’s safety [9].


Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Cebu.



Sources:
[1] https://bit.ly/3cnbIhM
[2] https://bit.ly/2VC1QKe
[3] https://bit.ly/2XG5fu9
[4] https://bit.ly/3cviVMZ
[5] https://bit.ly/34M5SnI
[6] https://bit.ly/2xpyk2t
[7] https://bit.ly/3afq2rd
[8] https://cnb.cx/2XHaxpb
[9] https://bit.ly/2VxzLE1

Cebu, enhanced community quarantine, COVID-19, Quarantine News, lockdown, Health News

While the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is still in effect in Cebu City, the government made commuting easier for the medical staff of Cebu City Medical Center by providing free scheduled bus rides. Meanwhile, Sitio Zapatera has been placed on lockdown after three residents tested positive for COVID-19. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, only one entrance to the Carbon Public Market was opened to monitor the consumers inside the market. In terms of banking and finance news, banks are requested to waive remittance fees of overseas Filipino workers while the Social Security System (SSS) announced that they will not give penalties for delayed payments.

For some good news, an association of Cebu doctors volunteered to give free online consultations and a Cebuano also developed a mobile application that will help the Department of Health (DOH) trace possible infected individuals. For the safety of the Muslim community, lockdown and social distancing measures will be followed during Ramadan this year. Lastly, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave pointers and warned nations about easing lockdown measures against COVID-19. Scroll down for more news about COVID-19 in Cebu City and more.


Quarantine News: Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz placed under lockdown


Since April 7, Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz has been on lockdown after one of the residents tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Two more COVID-19 positive cases have been recorded in the same barangay, so more police personnel are stationed to secure the entry and exit points. The houses in Sitio Zapatera are congested and the entire area houses around 9,000 people—making officials worry that the disease might spread and infect the whole barangay. They are closely monitoring the residents, especially those living near the confirmed cases. The needs of Sitio Zapatera residents are provided by the government since the lockdown was implemented.



Transportation News: Free bus rides for CCMC workers


The Land Transportation Office (LTO)-7 has offered free bus rides to all the medical staff of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) [2]. In partnership with Librando Transit, the medical workers of CCMC can easily commute during the ECQ in the city. These are the schedules of the free bus rides:

5:00 AM - Starmall to CCMC
6:00 AM - CCMC to Starmall
7:00 AM - Starmall to CCMC (excluded on holidays)
5:00 PM - Starmall to CCMC
6:00 PM - CCMC to Starmall
7:00 PM - Starmall to CCMC

Social distancing and passenger body inspection before entry to the buses will be done to prevent the spread of the disease.


Shopping News: Carbon Public Market shoppers can enter only through Escaño Street


Cebuanos wishing to purchase food in Carbon Public Market in Barangay Ermita need to use the entrance in Escaño Street while the ECQ is in effect [3]. Only one entry was opened to limit the people inside the premises and to make sure that distancing is observed. This was implemented after people flocked to the market to buy ingredients for the famous Lenten treat “binignit,” a sweet dish made of yam, sticky rice, and coconut milk. The current setup was agreed upon by the City Government and is manned by the Philippine National Police.


Banks, Remittances, and Payment News


ACTS-OFW urged banks to waive remittance fees

To help migrant Filipino workers and their dependents, the Alliance for Community Transformation and Service Overseas Filipino Workers (ACTS-OFW) urged banks to waive their cash remittance fees. Families that depend on cash transfers from overseas can benefit during the ECQ if the fees will be waived. ACTS-OFW Chairman Aniceto Bertiz III said that if banks give up their remittance fees for just a month, an extra PhP14 billion would proceed to the families of OFWs.



The Philippine National Bank has already set an example since they allowed OFWs to send money without a charge from April 9 to May 8. Bertiz also noted that even if banks waive their fees, they would still be making a bit of money from their foreign exchange bid-ask spread [4].

Payment dues extended for SSS contributors and members

The Social Security System has extended its payment dues for contributors and members who took out loans. No penalties will be applied to self-employed, voluntary members, and non-working spouses with contributions for the first quarter of the year, and they can pay until June 1, 2020. As to loan payments for February to April 2020, they may be settled until June 30 without penalties and interests. Qualified members do not need to arrange a request and will be covered by the loan moratorium [5].


Health News


Free medical consultation online for Cebuanos

Sugbo Volunteer Doctors Online announced on their Facebook page that they will be providing care to people online. The organization is composed of 66 medical and surgical specialists who are affiliated with different hospitals in Cebu City. They have volunteered to help patients who are in need of non-emergency medical attention [6].



The group is using “Telemedicine” as a tool for online appointments and consultations; both the tool and consultation are free. Sugbo Volunteer Doctors Online advises the public to follow the rules on how to book an appointment. If you want to book a consultation, you can message their Facebook page by clicking this link: https://www.facebook.com/SugboVolunteerDoctors/


Health Advisories: Cebuano develops tracing app to help fight COVID-19


Eddie Ybañez, an information technology expert from Cebu City, has developed a mobile application for tracing persons who could have made contact with COVID-19 confirmed cases [7]. The application was made to be used by the Department of Health (DOH) for tracing possible patients. It is named “WeTrace” and it can locate, track, map, do case-reporting, message, and alert the DOH, according to Sugbo News. WeTrace can be installed in Android devices and can be found in Google Play for free. The app won’t violate the privacy of these contacts since it uses QR code generation for tracking.


Global News: WHO discourages abrupt easing of coronavirus restrictions


The World Health Organization (WHO) warns nations across the globe that control measures such as lockdowns must be lifted slowly and with control [8]. WHO stressed that COVID-19 is ten times deadlier and spreads faster than the 2009 flu pandemic. The virus has infected more than 1.8 million people in the world and has killed at least 115,000 since it started to spread in China over three months ago. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlined a checklist for countries before lifting lockdowns:

• The spread of the coronavirus should be managed.
• Isolation, detection, and the treating of patients should be observed.
• There should be a minimization of outbreaks in medical facilities and nursing homes.
• Schools and workplaces should follow preventive measures.
• Importing the disease from abroad should not be put to risk and must be under control.



Meanwhile, WHO officials are still waiting for results from randomized controlled trials about the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus. Doctor Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program, said that there is no empirical evidence from randomized control trials that the hydroxychloroquine works. He also noted that not all patients who recover from the virus are guaranteed to be immune to a second infection.


Holiday News: Ramadan will abide by ECQ guidelines


Alexander Minalang, regional director of the National Commission on Muslin Filipinos-Visayas urged the Muslim community in Cebu to observe the enhanced community quarantine guidelines during the month of Ramadan. He encouraged the Muslim community to follow social distancing measures in mosques and to temporarily suspend mass gatherings even from the beginning of the crisis. Ramadan is expected to start on April 24, and devout Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset in a practice called “sawm.” This year’s Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, will be canceled for the Muslim community’s safety [9].


Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Cebu.



Sources:
[1] https://bit.ly/3cnbIhM
[2] https://bit.ly/2VC1QKe
[3] https://bit.ly/2XG5fu9
[4] https://bit.ly/3cviVMZ
[5] https://bit.ly/34M5SnI
[6] https://bit.ly/2xpyk2t
[7] https://bit.ly/3afq2rd
[8] https://cnb.cx/2XHaxpb
[9] https://bit.ly/2VxzLE1

author

Yoorekka’s team is composed of talented writers from all over the Philippines with varied interests, from creative writing to environmental advocacy. There is one thing that they share, though: they’re all passionate about producing articles that are not only interesting to read but also useful for anyone reading!

Cebu enhanced community quarantine COVID 19 Quarantine News lockdown Health News Cebu City

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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