MANILA – The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation in Cebu City has significantly improved, National Action Plan (NAP) on Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday.
“Medyo gumaganda po ang analysis natin dun sa Cebu, mas maganda ang organization nila, well-meted yung Cebu City operations center (our Covid-19 analysis in Cebu situation is quite impressive, they have much better organization, Cebu City’s operations center is well-meted),” Galvez, also the presidential peace adviser, said in a virtual press briefing.
Galvez said the spike of Covid-19 cases in Cebu was due to inefficient home quarantine measures, fewer hospital capacities, and poor contact tracing.
Poor contact tracing, he said, was due to psychological stigma and high tolerance of discrimination against confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Some areas in Cebu City, he said, are densely populated which is actually deterrent to the implementation of physical distancing and other minimum health standards in the communities.
The geographical challenge is also one reason in the spike in Covid-19 cases, Galvez said, given that Cebu City is a central hub.
He said the government is working on the expansion of healthcare facilities in Cebu City as part of efforts to halt the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, Galvez said people’s obedience to health protocols, guidelines, and community quarantine control has an essential role in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 in Cebu City.
The imposed lockdown is intended to minimize local transmission, he said.
“Kasi yung epekto ng (the effect of the) enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is to minimize the transmission and to contain the spread. ‘Pagka hindi po yan na-implement ng mabuti, yung rate of transmission ay hindi po bababa. Kapag hindi po naging effective yung EQC ay hindi po mapipigilan yung pagkalat (if the EQC is not properly implemented, the transmission rate will not be reduced. If the EQC turns out to be infective, the spread will not be contained),” said Galvez.
As a solution, Galvez said an information drive should be done in Cebu City and let residents know that the government’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic “is for the people”.
“Talaga pong ang battle na ito ay para talaga sa ating mga kababayan at nakikita po natin na nag-iimprove ang Cebu (This battle is really for our fellow countrymen and we noted a significant improvement in Cebu) because of the cooperation of the public and the LGUs (local government units),” he said.
He said the government seeks balance in sustaining health protocols and the economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Yung part po nito ay yung ginagawa po namin na national action plan na part 2 o yung phase 2 (This is part 2 or the phase 2 of the national action plan), which is saving lives and mitigating impacts as one — towards economic and social recovery,” Galvez said.
On the other hand, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said one good thing about the lockdown implementation is that the government was able to manage the severe and critical cases in the country.
“We are able to buy time to increase our testing capacities, build isolation facilities, at tsaka yung mga (and those) healthcare capacities. (So) we are really–very very ready now to fight Covid more than ever,” he said. (PNA)