By Nino Luces
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay –Top public officials in Albay are not convinced that the province is ready to be downgraded to a general community quarantine (GCQ) after April 30, saying that there were three more cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that were recorded on Tuesday, April 28.
Legazpi City Mayor and Bicol Regional Development Council (RDC) chairman Noel Rosal said that he will appeal to the Bicol Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15.
“Not so good news again. Two new positive COVID-19 cases in Legazpi City. Yung isa po health worker ng BRTTH (Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital), admitted na po at yung isa resulta ng tracing natin sa nag-positive na taga Victory Village. Dadalhin na BRTTH, although asymptomatic. Mag-aapeal po tayo bukas na isabay pa din tayo as ECQ extended up to May15. Yan po ang sinasabi ko na hindi pa tayo ready sa GCQ. Let’s continue praying,” Rosal said.
This was echoed by Albay Second District Congressman Joey Salceda.
“There is no data, science and economic logic to ECQ lifting for Albay. GCQ in May 1 is not good for us. Epidemic curve is still rising and rate of 1.57. There are many PUIs awaiting results. Albay is not ready – limited testing, few tracing and health capacity is not yet built up with only 25 COVID beds with only 3 ventilators. God help us all, protect us from this IATF’s big big mistake,” Salceda explained.
Mayor Krisel Lagman Luistro of Tabaco City also said. in her radio interviews, that she, too, was not in favor of putting her city under GCQ on May 1.
She said she wanted the curve to be flattened further before declaring a GCQ to ensure the safety of every residentsin her city.
Albay Third District Congressman Fernando Cabredo also said that it was still premature to place Albay under GCQ, following the reports of new cases of COVID-19.
Another Albay official who has taken the same stand was Ligao City Mayor Patricia Gonzles-Alsua.
Ligao City had just recorded its first COVID-19 case on Tuesday night, with Alsua confirming that it was a health worker from Barangay Guilid.
Along with these local chief executives and public officials, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Albay Chapter has also opposed downgrading restriction measures in the province from ECQ to GCQ.