Gov’t considers Cebu City as the new COVID-19 epicenter

Marje Pelayo   •   June 30, 2020   •   740

MANILA, Philippines — Confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cebu City have reached more than 3,500, the highest among all highly urbanized areas in the country. 

For this reason, the National Task Force against COVID-19 now considers it the new epicenter of the infectious respiratory disease. 

Specifically, Cebu City recorded the highest number of active cases and critical and severe COVID-19 patients. 

The national government has admitted that the situation in Cebu City is alarming. 

“Ang pinakamain focal point po natin is Cebu City, considering the parameters and thresholds. The new cases are increasing, even surpassing the whole NCR,” noted Task Force Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez. 

The cases of death ay mataas din po. Ang tinatawag na recoveries, malakas rin po pero ang kanilang level 3 hospitals are very limited, ” he added.

Galvez cited the city’s leniency in implementing protocols under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) during the early months of the outbreak.

For now, authorities have no other choice but to extend and enforce strict quarantine measures to improve the situation through the collaborative efforts of the military, the police and the local government units. 

Currently, a total of 19 barangays in Cebu City are under hard lockdown.

Nakikita naming kailangan pa ng stringent restrictions kasi na-find out namin, nung nag-ECQ sila hindi ito properly implemented, ” Galvez said. 

“That’s why it prompted the deployment of more forces to Cebu City,” Galvez said. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Cebu City limits cemetery visits to fully vaccinated people during Undas

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2021

Visit to cemeteries in Cebu City during the period of Undas on November 1 and 2 will only be limited to individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an order released by the city government.

In a post on its Facebook page, the city government said the policy is contained in the Directive No. 10-14-01 recently issued by Mayor Michael Rama.

In the order dated October 15, Rama said that only five visitors per grave will be allowed at any given time.

Visitors are also advised to stay at a maximum of one hour inside the cemetery and “must be considerate to those who are still outside and are waiting to be granted entry.”

Rama’s order also stated that bringing of food, eating, and drinking of alcoholic beverages inside the cemetery premises are prohibited.

Any form of gambling and other recreational activities are also prohibited.

A categorized, scheduled, and regulated open house admission regardless of vaccination status will be allowed on Oct. 18 to 31, and from Nov. 3 to 5, the city government said.

The national government earlier ordered the closure of cemeteries from October 29 to November 2 in anticipation of the influx of people amid the continuing threat of COVID-19.

16 cadavers stored in abandoned building in Cebu City

Marje Pelayo   •   August 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 16 cadavers in a state of decomposition were discovered inside an abandoned building in Cebu City.

Most of the bodies were stored inside freezers while some were left lying on the floor.

The local government has ordered an investigation into the incident.

According to Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, the cadavers were temporarily placed there after funeral homes refused to process them due to the overwhelming number of bodies being brought to their establishment.

Tumulak said, the building is formerly known as St. Bernard Funeral Homes.

According to reports, there are allegedly three funeral homes that are dumping cadavers in the building oftentimes during late night or at dawn to avoid being seen.

Residents nearby are also complaining about the pungent smell coming from the said building.

The official said they will check on the death certificates to verify reports that at least three of the bodies had died from COVID-19.

 

IATF bars NCR Plus, cities of Cebu, Davao from entering Region 6

Robie de Guzman   •   April 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has temporarily suspended inbound passenger travel to Western Visayas (Region 6) for people coming from the areas of NCR Plus, Cebu City, and Davao City, Malacañang said on Monday.

In a virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the suspension of inbound passenger travel will last until April 10.

Roque said IATF’s decision is in response to the request of local officials in Region 6 amid the surge in cases in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Western Visayas is composed of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental. World-famous Boracay Island is also located in Western Visayas.

Local government units in Region 6 last week separately issued executive orders closing off provincial borders, as well as for the imposition of curfew and liquor ban in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna – collectively called as NCR Plus – were initially placed under enhanced community quarantine (EQC) from March 29 to April 4 to restrict the public’s mobility and curb the rise in coronavirus cases.

It was later extended to April 11 by the national government.

Davao City has been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) while Cebu City is under modified GCQ for the month of April.

The Philippines has so far recorded 795,051 infections with 646,100 recoveries and 13,425 deaths.

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