Cimatu sees Cebu City shift to GCQ by Aug. 1 | Inquirer News
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Cimatu sees Cebu City shift to GCQ by Aug. 1

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Seeing a downtrend in the number of coronavirus cases here, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu is seeking to relax the quarantine measures in Cebu City to breathe life into its struggling economy.

Cimatu, who was tapped by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the government response to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Cebu province and city, said he would request the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to downgrade Cebu City’s status from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) by Aug. 1.

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“We are making progress now because of contact tracing. So hopefully, by the end of the month, we’ll go down to GCQ,” he said during a meeting with business leaders here on Tuesday.

Under GCQ, several businesses will be allowed to reopen, public transportation can resume operations while movements of people are less restrictive.

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Caution

The Department of Health said Cebu City, as of July 21, had 8,302 cases of COVID-19, with 4,583 recoveries and 415 deaths. At least 1,160 people were admitted in hospitals while 2,144 others stayed in different quarantine facilities in the city.

Experts from the University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas, in a study released on July 16, noted a slowdown in the transmission of the virus in the city and province of Cebu.

The study said if an ECQ or MECQ status would be sustained in Cebu City for another 14 days or until July 31, the entire island would be on “a trajectory toward flattening its epidemic curve.”

But the experts cautioned the government to carefully study the situation in Cebu City before downgrading its quarantine status.

Localized lockdowns

Even if Cebu City would be placed under GCQ, Melquiades Feliciano, who assists Cimatu in the battle against COVID-19 in Cebu, said “granular lockdowns” would still be implemented in some subvillages in 21 barangays with high number of coronavirus cases.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is expected to issue an executive order to implement the lockdown aimed at limiting the movement of people to stop the spread of the virus in identified communities.

Feliciano said a lockdown would ensure that all residents exposed to COVID-19 were traced, tested and treated. He assured that the city government would provide for the provisions of families in communities under strict quarantine.

The city government has deployed at least 134 contact tracing teams to different villages to identify and isolate those infected.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Cebu City COVID-19 cases, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, Roy Cimatu
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