Cebu, Bohol impose stricter rules for lockdown
CEBU CITY—In a bid to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), local officials placed the entire province of Cebu and its two independent cities under an enhanced community quarantine for a month.In Cebu City, the lockdown will start on Saturday noon and last until April 28, said Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella on Thursday.
“Enhanced community quarantine is a state where strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential health services shall be regulated; and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented,” Labella said.
Cebu, so far, has only one positive case of COVID-19 who is recuperating at a private hospital in Mandaue City. As of Thursday, however, the Department of Health in Central Visayas had monitored 12 “presumptive” positive cases in Cebu City; one each in the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, both in Cebu province; and one in Negros Oriental province.
Their test results were sent for confirmatory tests to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City. Initial testing was done at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center here.
In other provinces in the Visayas, Bohol, Iloilo and Biliran and the cities of Catbalogan in Samar and Borongan in Eastern Samar have also imposed stricter community quarantine protocols.
Labella said business establishments in Cebu City would be closed, except for hospitals, drugstores, gasoline stations, cargo companies, utility and telecommunication companies, funeral parlors and establishments manufacturing medical supplies and those engaged in delivery services. Groceries, supermarkets, hardware stores and public markets are open only until 8 p.m.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has yet to announce the guidelines on the imposition of an enhanced community quarantine in the province, as she was still discussing the issue with mayors as of 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
But on Wednesday, Garcia said: “We are moving towards a total lockdown … But we need to put needed measures first. Now more than ever, we need to join hands … Think, decide and act as one Cebu.”
In Bohol, Gov. Arthur Yap placed the province under “intensified community quarantine” requiring most businesses to close. Grocery and convenience stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware, banks and money remittance centers will remain open.
He said public markets would operate from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and all vendors and buyers would be required to wear medical masks.
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