Cebu gov wants IATF to downgrade quarantine status in the province
CEBU CITY – Although cases of COVID-19 are rising, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia stressed the need to also save the economy, particularly the tourism industry.
According to Garcia, she appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF) to downgrade the quarantine status of the province so thousands of jobs from outdoor tourism activities in Cebu would not be affected.
Garcia cited the outdoor activities of Oslob, Badian, Alegria, Malapascua Island and Bantayan Island, among other tourist destinations in Cebu.
“There are those that are screaming now for lockdowns. I envy your position because you can always say that freely and it will only affect yourselves. We, elected officials, need to decide on behalf of the people even if it is contrary to our personal stand,” she said in a press conference on Monday.
“Our economy can no longer take the beating. It is already down and out.”
Cebu was supposed to be under the stricter modified general community quarantine (MECQ) but was downgraded by the IATF to general community quarantine upon Garcia’s appeal.
The MECQ classification prohibits all forms of tourism activities while GCQ allows outdoor tourism activities at 30 percent capacity.
Garcia said restaurants and owners of public utility vehicles (PUVs) are told to adopt an open-air ventilation to allow free flow of air to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The new rule will take effect as soon as she releases a new executive order (EO) which will also apply to all fast-food chains.
Garcia said she will also add capacity to the four provincial hospitals and 12 district hospitals throughout Cebu. These facilities are mostly primary and secondary hospitals.
The Danao City Provincial Hospitals appeared full in the social media posts because of “mismanagement” as the patients were not allowed to occupy the empty beds inside.
Most of those that are seen are awaiting test results and as soon as the results come, most of them are negative of COVID-19.
The governor said there will be changes in the work schedule of some of the health workers. There will also be proper coordination between the different facilities so other beds from other hospitals can be used.
The provincial government will also purchase 20 units of the more modern high-flo equipment as a substitute to ventilators. These will be distributed to all the hospitals in the province.
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