‘Hardheaded?’ Cebu City mayor cites ‘other factors’ in spike of virus cases
MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella on Thursday came to the defense of his constituents after President Rodrigo Duterte called out the residents there for being “hard-headed.”
While he thanked the President for his concern for Cebu City, Labella cited other reasons that might have led to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city, such as barangays having a dense population of informal settlers, the massive testing conducted in the city, and intensified contact tracing.
“Well of course aside from the observation that (they are) hardheaded, of course, there are also other factors,” Labella said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“You know, Cebu has a big number of informal settlers and these barangays, as you can see from statistics, these barangays have the most number of positive cases,” he also said.
According to Labella, the Cebu City government has been conducting targeted testing as early as the last week of March, but noted that the previously “not-so-efficient” testing capacity might have also contributed to the increased rate of infection.
He explained that in the past before test results come out in two or three weeks, those who have gone through COVID-19 tests already go out of their homes without knowing that they have the disease.
“Especially when we were downgraded to GCQ, parang nanibago sila, the freedom that they had in going out,” he further said.
Despite this extension of strict quarantine, Labella noted that the recovery rate in the city is even higher than the recovery rate on the nationwide scale.
He said that of the 5,596 positive cases of COVID-19 in the city, a total of 2,897 patients have already recovered.
“The active cases now left are 2,699. By way of percentage, we can simply say that our recovery rate is 52 percent. Vis-a-vis the national recovery rate which is 27 percent, I think we have done quite good in so far as an intervention in the recovery,” he said.
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