THE Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, said cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Cebu City have plateaued, but case bulletins of the Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7) showed an uptrend as indicated by the seven-day moving average.
“We have reached a plateau, but the thing is the daily count is still high at more than 300,” said Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the EOC.
He said it is a “good sign,” since the cases are no longer increasing. But a daily tally of over 300 is “suffocating and draining,” he added.
DOH 7 data, on the other hand, showed that the seven-day moving average breached 300 in the recent week from Aug. 9 to 15. This trend indicator has been slowly rising since surpassing 100 on July 11 to 17 and 200 on July 23 to 29.
The DOH 7 case bulletins recorded the highest daily count for Cebu City at 415 on Aug. 1. This has not been topped over the last two weeks, but the seven-day moving average has ranged from 244 on Aug. 1 to 288 on Aug. 14 and 305 on Aug. 15.
As of Aug. 15, EOC data showed that total Covid-19 cases in Cebu City reached 34,189, with 29,324 recoveries, 1,088 deaths and 3,777 active cases.
The critical care occupancy rate in 15 hospitals in Cebu City was 75.6 percent as of Aug. 14.
There were still 285 beds available for the asymptomatic Covid-19 patients in barangay isolation centers (BICs) as 451 were occupied.
Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said asymptomatic patients will now be brought to the isolation facility at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) while the existing BICs will be used for the police personnel.
Cebu City Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., who is in charge of the CCSC isolation center, said no patient has been referred to the facility since its inauguration on Aug. 8.
Stay at home
Garganera said EOC and City officials target to bring down the daily cases by strictly enforcing the stay-at-home policy and other modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) restrictions until Aug. 31.
Rama, in a statement on Aug. 16, said he was aware that many were not happy with the mandatory stay-at-home order.
“I know many of you will be in a difficult situation again because of our stay-at-home policy. I could feel your displeasure,” said Rama.
“I am displeased as you are. I am sorry that we have to resort to this option. But I ask you to please cooperate with us. We must liberate our city from this crisis brought by the pandemic,” he said.
The stay-at-home order is contained in Rama’s Executive Order No. 137, which he issued on Aug. 15.
Police Col. Josefino Ligan, Cebu City City Police Office (CCPO) director, reminded parents that they would be held liable for their children found violating the stay-at-home policy and other provisions of EO 137.
He said violators will either pay a fine of P1,000 or render community service based on City Ordinance 2566, which penalizes violations of quarantine protocols.
He said the number of adult violators apprehended and individuals rescued has been increasing since Aug. 1.
Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Felix Taguiam has expressed support for the stay-at-home policy, or Oplan Puyo, of the Cebu City Government.
He said this is what the city needs in order for businesses to bounce back quicker once the rising cases are stabilized and achieve a better fourth quarter.
“Today was the first day of the implementation of the new city executive order. Though strict rules were imposed on non-essential travel, especially people roaming around doing nothing. They might as well have stayed home,” Taguiam said.
“We all need cooperation from all sectors now, not just from businesses, but most importantly from our fellow Cebuanos,” he added.
Under EO 137, Cebu City residents must stay home, except when they have to do essential work and address essential needs.
Those allowed to work and establishments permitted to operate are strongly encouraged to adopt a work-from-home setup and other flexible work arrangements during MECQ.
This directive also prohibits non-essential inter-island travel, the sale of liquor, and the operation of several establishments including venues for meetings, conferences and exhibitions.
Also from Aug. 16 to 31, public utility vehicles must open windows, use air purifiers or reduce passenger capacity. (JJL, JOB)