Mayor appeals for downgrading of Cebu City to GCQ from ECQ
CEBU CITY –– Saying there has been a downtrend in the cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) here, Mayor Edgardo Labella appealed to the national government to downgrade the city’s status from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to a less stringent general community quarantine (GCQ).
In a letter he coursed through Leocadio Trevola, director of the Department of Interior and Local Government in Central Visayas and chairperson of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (RAITF), Labella said Cebu City was supposed to be placed under modified ECQ from May 16 to 31.
The mayor said he previously appealed the classification since it would affect the outcome of the strategic community testing for COVID-19 conducted in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu.
“Our strategic community testing has already been completed and we are confident that the City of Cebu is ready to transition into general community quarantine,” said Labella in his letter to Trevola.
As of May 27, there were 2,013 COVID-19 cases in Cebu City but the deaths remain at 25 or a case fatality rate of 1.2 percent.
The recoveries in the city, the mayor said, have also reached 394 or 19.6 percent, which is correlative to good management and treatment of COVID-19 cases.
“Our medical experts in the city have pegged the critical utilization rate at 40 percent. The case doubling time in the city is more than seven days, (and) there is a significant indication that there is a continuous reduction of additional cases in the city,” Labella said.
“Given the foregoing, it is but a logical step for the city government to transition into general community quarantine but with the corollary, discretion to place under segmental and sequential lockdown critical areas. I sincerely hope you find merit in this appeal,” he added.
On Thursday morning, May 28, the IATF in Manila recommended to President Duterte to place Cebu City under modified ECQ from June 1 to 15.
If approved by the President, Cebu City will be the only local government unit in the country to be under modified ECQ.
Upon learning about IATF’s announcement, Labella immediately sent an appeal to reclassify the Queen City of the South under GCQ.
“I hope that IATF will grant our request,” he said.
In a short interview with reporters at City Hall, Labella said the city must reopen several businesses to jumpstart the economy after a two-month lull.
“It’s high time (to move forward). While saving lives is important, with a GCQ, we can also give livelihood to our people,” he said.
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