Malacañang on Tuesday said the government’s decision to reimpose the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu City was the only way to curb the spread of COVID-19 in one of the largest cities in the country.
Only Cebu City, which was previously under general community quarantine, will be under ECQ until June 30 to control the spread of the disease, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.
Restrictions on travel and mass gatherings as well as closure of schools and most businesses will be implemented under ECQ, which started on June 16 and will run until June 30.
Cebu City was previously under less stringent general community quarantine.
“Kung hindi po natin ma-contain ang pagkalat ng sakit sa Cebu City, malaki po ang posibilidad na baka kumalat muli sa iba’t-ibang parte ng Visayas (If we cannot contain the spread of the disease in Cebu City, there is a big chance that this would spread in different parts of Visayas.),” Roque said.
Talisay City, also in Cebu province, was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of the month.
The government’s inter-agency task force (IATF) on pandemic response considered the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in the city which is currently less than 7 days, and the high utilization of critical care facilities in Cebu City, Roque said.
“Wala na po tayong alternatibo. Wala pang vaccine, wala pang gamot so tanggapin na lang po natin na ito lang po ang tanging pamamaraan para malabanan natin ang COVID-19 (We have no other alternative. There is no vaccine or cure so we have to accept that this is the only way to fight COVID-19),” Roque said.
Seventy-six percent of villages in Cebu City or 61 of the 80 barangays have active cases of COVID-19. Thirteen of these are considered “worst-hit” barangays by the Department of Health (DOH).
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said Tuesday plans to appeal the city’s classification to help its economy recover from the pandemic.
Labella attributed the spike in COVID-19 cases to 3 months of massive testing.
“Kailangan talagang we can go back to general quarantine because kawawa ang business natin dito. We will make the necessary adjustments and eventually, in a few days, we will make the necessary appeal (We really need to go back to general quarantine because the businesses here suffers.),” Labella told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
As of June 14, the DOH said Cebu City has confirmed 2,810 COVID-19 cases./Stacy Ang