DOH warns of virus surge as jeepneys return to Cebu | Inquirer News
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DOH warns of virus surge as jeepneys return to Cebu

/ 04:40 AM November 23, 2020

INSPECTION Authorities inspect jeepneys to find out if these comply with health protocols as these will ply the streets of Cebu City again. —CEBU CITY JEEPNEY TASK FORCE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — As public utility jeepneys are allowed back into the streets of this city, local health officials have warned of another rise in the number of coronavirus infections.

“Because of the ease of transport, people’s movement becomes less hampered, which, in turn, increases activities,” said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas. She urged jeepney drivers and passengers to observe health protocols to avert the spread of the virus.

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On Friday, 19 jeepneys were given the green light to ply their routes for the first time since March 28, or two weeks after the pandemic broke out in the country.

Loreche said the drivers must be tested regularly for COVID-19 while public health measures must be strictly implemented to ensure the safety of riders.

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No second wave

The DOH recently reported a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, barely three months after “flattening the curve.”

But Loreche quickly dismissed the possibility of a second wave of infections. “This is not alarming yet. I don’t think we’re on the way toward that,” she said.

Loreche said the region’s health care, treatment and monitoring facilities were equipped to handle a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Officials said the increasing number of new cases could be attributed to intensive contact tracing activities, more people moving around outside their homes, and the tendency of some people to be lax in following health protocols.

People nonetheless should prepare for the “new normal,” a new way of living while the world has not yet found a cure or a vaccine for COVID-19, said Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH regional director.

“We should start looking forward to facing and living with the virus. We cannot always rely on the subsidy of the government because it’s already been months,” he said.

Loreche appealed to the people to continue observing all health protocols, like the wearing of face masks and face shields, practicing physical distancing, and staying indoors when there is nothing important to do outside.

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“COVID-19 is still very much with us. As the Christmas season draws near, there will be more movement of people. That is why we should be more mindful of what we are doing,” she said.

Ador Vincent Mayol

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
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, Cebu City jeepneys, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines
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