Cases in Cebu province are increasing, but the provincial government declined another lockdown from the national government. However, two barangays in Cebu City have imposed a Sunday lockdown as more residents are seen going outside. In terms of travel news in the province, the capitol eased its restrictions for incoming domestic tourists in Cebu. Meanwhile, the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) asks for more hotel isolation rooms in Cebu.
Cebu officials oppose tighter quarantine status
As Cebu City has been recording the highest number of COVID-19 cases for over two weeks nationwide, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is expected to put the city in a higher quarantine classification. However, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia opposed the idea of another lockdown. The governor noted that there are health measures in place against the further spread of the virus and the local government units in the province have formulated an approach to keep infections in check. In addition, the governor insisted that a lockdown would work against the province’s economy.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella also supported the governor. Together with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the mayor is also against a city-wide lockdown and said that the COVID-19 situation is under control .
Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Barangay Labangon, stricter lockdown protocols were implemented . Under the protocol, a lockdown and temporary closure of non-essential establishments will be enforced on Sundays to bring down the number of cases in the area. Meanwhile, Barangay Lahug implemented the same Sunday lockdown as residents are seen going outside more during Sundays.
Travel News: Cebu removes RT-PCR results requirement for tourists
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia eased travel restrictions for incoming local tourists by dropping the requirement for real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results. Executive Order (EO) No. 12 was signed and issued by the governor to allow persons traveling to the province to enter without showing a test result.
Instead, future visitors must submit a valid medical certificate obtained one week before arriving in Cebu Province and a pre-booking from their respective accommodation, and they must pass screening points at departure and arrival areas . This move and the governor’s plans to revive the province’s ailing economy was backed by the Provincial Tourism Task Force.
Health News: DOH-7 demands more hotel-isolation rooms as asymptomatic patients increase
DOH-7 is concerned about the possibility of Cebu hospitals being overwhelmed as there was a slight increase of asymptomatic patients recorded in the province. According to the data gathered from health authorities, the critical care utilization of hospitals in the region has reached 47.6 percent in private hospitals while it is 58.7 percent for public hospitals.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, the spokesperson of DOH-7, said that most of the COVID-19 patients in hospitals do not show symptoms of the virus and should be transferred to hotel isolation centers. Loreche also noted that the hospital beds should be allocated for patients with mild and moderate symptoms. Furthermore, DOH-7 is already tapping the help of various hoteliers and quarantine facilities in Cebu to accommodate asymptomatic patients .
Shanice Reyes writes to buy herself good coffee and bike parts. When she's not writing, you can find her playing Ultimate Frisbee, traveling to new places, or hanging out with her dogs and tarantulas. Though she has an irrational fear of heights, she'd love to try sky-diving one day.
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