Mayors in 3 key Cebu cities see GCQ as apt after July 15
CEBU CITY—Mayors of the three major cities of Cebu province expressed preference for their jurisdictions to be placed on general community quarantine (GCQ) when current lockdown measures expire on July 15.
Mayors Junard Chan, of Lapu-Lapu City, and Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City had made known they wanted their cities to remain on GCQ and wanted the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to approve it.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella had expressed hope that his city would exit enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and transition to a more relaxed lockdown.
President Rodrigo Duterte, heeding recommendation made by the IATF, declared ECQ on Cebu City on June 16 in response to a surge in coronavirus cases and the difficulty the city was having in providing critical health care to patients.
Cebu City is the only place in the country which remains under ECQ, the strictest form of quarantine.
“I hope that it will be downgraded,” said Labella.
“After all, if you look at the statistics, Cebu City has the highest number of recoveries,” the mayor added.
“Our recovery rate is the highest at 54 percent. So that is something that should be considered,” Labella said in an interview on Tuesday (July 14).
Labella said the continued rise in COVID-19 cases in his city should not be a surprise since it was the only city where the local government was conducting massive testing among the people.
Duterte is set to announce new quarantine classifications on Wednesday (July 15).
Mayor Chan said he wanted the national government to keep Lapu-Lapu City on GCQ to “flatten the curve” of infections.
On orders of Chan, coffins and funeral flowers had been on display on the city’s streets to serve as a macabre warning to people about how deadly COVID-19 is.
The setup has been accompanied by tarpaulins with messages in Cebuano that read: “Stay at home so you won’t end up in a coffin.”
Although COVID-19 cases in Lapu-Lapu City have decreased in the past days, Chan said he does not want people to be complacent.
Lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mayor Cortes, said the local government, too, wanted Mandaue City to remain on GCQ.
Ibañez said city officials saw a surge in cases after the Mandaue lockdown was changed from ECQ to GCQ.
He said having a GCQ status in Mandaue was acceptable as it meant local officials could continue to enforce strict health protocols and open up the economy at the same time.
Edited by TSB
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