Limited quarantine passes in Cebu City mulled

Published June 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government intends to limit the number of quarantine passes in Cebu City to stem the spread of the new coronavirus disease, a Palace official said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque during the Fake and/or Misleading News and False Information hearing in Pasay City, March 15,2018. (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the government wants to ensure the movement of people outside their residences in Cebu City is only for accessing essential goods and services.

Authorities recently revoked around 250,000 quarantine passes issued to city residents due to soaring cases of infections. Cebu City was reverted to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from June 16 to June 30 due to the sharp rise of coronavirus cases and high critical care utilization rate.

“Na-revoke na po iyong naunang 250,000 quarantine passes. Papalitan po ito para masigurado na hindi po masyadong maraming tao ang lalabas ng kanilang mga bahay except to buy essentials (The 250,000 quarantine passes have been revoked. These will be replaced to ensure that only a limited number of people will leave their houses, except to buy essentials),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Roque said soldiers have been deployed to Cebu City to help the police in enforcing the strict quarantine rules.

He also appealed to residents of Cebu City to make sacrifices and observe the health protocols to contain the spread of the disease. He said people should wear masks, wash hands frequently, observe safe distancing, among others.

“Para sa ating mga kapatid at kaibigan diyan sa lungsod ng Cebu: Kaya natin ito. Sakripisyo muna tayo sa ngayon (To our fellowmen and friends in Cebu City, we can do this. Let us sacrifice for now),” he said.

“Huwag na muna tayong lumabas ng ating mga tahanan kung hindi naman talaga kailangan. Malampasan din natin itong ating paghihirap pag nawa, kung magkaisa at magtulungan tayong lahat (Let us not leave our homes if it is not necessary. We can overcome this hardship if we unite and help each other),” he said.

Under the government’s guidelines in ECQ areas, strict home quarantine must be observed in all households. The movement of all residents is limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in permitted offices or establishments.

To help health care capacity of Cebu City, Roque said the Philippine National Red Cross will donate 14 tents to augment the emergency room capacities of the hospitals in the city. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has also promised to donate air-conditioned vans to serve as temporary shelter for frontliners.

Roque said the health department is expected to present its recommendations on the health situation of Cebu City and its quarantine status during a meeting of the task force.

He said the quarantine classification of a place will still depend on the case doubling rate and the critical healthcare capacity of a local government unit.