No lockdown in Cebu City despite COVID-19 spike
CEBU CITY — The city government is not imposing another lockdown or stricter quarantine regulations despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases attributed to holiday gatherings, an official overseeing the pandemic response in the Visayas said.
Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementer for the Visayas of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said the recent spike in cases was also felt in other countries due to the increased movement of people during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Feliciano was hopeful that the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) could handle the situation. “I believe the cases would taper off in two weeks,” he said.
Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the EOC, said the city government and its barangay officials were capable of containing the spread of COVID-19 through immediate contact tracing and isolation of those infected.
At least 181 contact tracers are working as early as 5 a.m. daily to isolate close contacts of people who had tested positive for COVID-19, he said.
New cases in the city averaged nearly 45 a day from Jan. 11 to Jan. 17, a 30-percent increase from the 34 daily cases recorded a week earlier, or from Jan. 4 to Jan. 10. The latest figures were significantly higher than the 14 cases a day recorded from Dec. 28, 2020, to Jan. 3.
Daily cases averaged 13.3 in November 2020 and only six in December 2020.
As of Tuesday, Cebu City had 11,515 cases, with 650 classified as active. It tallied 10,164 recoveries and 701 deaths.
Despite the surge in COVID-19 cases, Feliciano said the occupancy of beds designated for patients remained low, with only 219 of 813 COVID-19 beds occupied as of Jan. 17.
Michelle Linsalata, assistant city health officer, said many people who developed symptoms during the holidays might have delayed seeking medical assistance.
She urged them to immediately seek medical assistance. “Late medical intervention could lead to death,” she said.
The EOC said 54 of the city’s 80 barangays reported active cases. The rest had no transmission in the past two weeks, it said.
Feliciano reminded residents to strictly adhere to the minimum health standards, such as wearing of face masks and shields, and observing physical distancing to curb the spread of the virus.
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