Cebu City to reimpose strict border controls to check Covid spread

The Cebu City government will reimpose strict border control and intensify road checkpoints to minimize the movement of people amid the rising coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases and presence of the Delta variant in Cebu.

Acting Mayor Michael Rama on Wednesday said apart from tightening the borders shared with other localities in Cebu province and stepping up police visibility, the city will also implement the rules of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on public transportation “with no more consideration”.

He said this time, they would be stricter on the policy regarding private vehicles roaming the streets with no essential purpose.

“In the spirit of 1CEBU, following discussions with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and our fellow tri-city mayors, we will similarly adopt more stringent quarantine measures and protocols, as we now also instruct the Cebu City Police Office,” Rama said in a statement read during a press conference.

He issued a warning to those who go out of their homes without a valid reason as well as the owners of non-essential establishments who continue to receive patrons.

“The police will arrest you if you have no reason to be out,” Rama said.

The latest Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas bulletin showed that on Tuesday alone, this capital city logged 331 new cases of Covid-19 as well as 168 recoveries, which raised the caseload to 3,813.

Cebu province recorded 280 new cases, pushing the total active infections to 4,487, with 180 recoveries and 25 new deaths.

Lapu-Lapu City has 1,823 active cases, 45 of them new infections, with zero recoveries and two deaths, while Mandaue City has 1,519 active cases, of whom 99 are new, with 37 recoveries, and five fatalities.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the DOH-Central Visayas and spokesperson of the Visayas Covid-19 Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC), on Wednesday encouraged vaccinees to spread good vibes by telling stories about the benefits and protection they get from the Covid-19 vaccines to inspire other people to register for inoculation.

She noted “an improvement in terms of number of people getting vaccinated” in Cebu.

“This kind of good news should be shared with all. Are you not happy? I am very happy and excited to share this with you. Good vibes are very contagious. Don’t allow coronavirus to be contagious. A merry heart doeth a good medicine,” Loreche said in her daily vaccination update.

Loreche reported that Cebu has administered a total of 988,284 combined first and second jabs.

Of the number, 601,392 were given as first doses and 386,892 as second doses.

“Fear of the Delta variant and the rising (Covid-19) cases have increased their awareness of the benefit of getting vaccinated,” she also told the Philippine News Agency.

In Metro Cebu alone, she reported that 18 percent of the 1.7 million total population eligible for inoculation listed under the A1, A2, A3, and A4 categories have already been vaccinated.

Loreche lauded the aggressiveness of the local government units (LGU) in setting up vaccination sites, noting that some of them doubled their effort in improving their capacities.

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