Cimatu notes major turnaround in Cebu City

CEBU CITY – The overseer of the Task Force Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Cebu Roy Cimatu welcomed the continued decrease of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, chief coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response implementor in the Viayas (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN)
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, chief coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response implementor in the Visayas (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN)

Cimatu, who is also the Environment Secretary, congratulated the city government following the downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the past few days.

“We had a meeting with the advisory group here and I congratulated them for what they have done,” said Cimatu in a press briefing Tuesday.

Cimatu noted a major turnaround in the city’s campaign against COVID-19.

“I still remember when we came here, the highest daily at the time was 300 cases a day. But yesterday (Monday) we were able to register 22 cases. A very big improvement of what we have done and I’m very thankful for the cooperation of the people in complying the minimum health standards and health protocols,” said Cimatu.

Retired general Mel Feliciano, the task force’s deputy overseer, also noted the decrease in fatality rate in the city.

“From as high as 11 a day last month, now it’s down to two per day. We are aiming to lower it more. This is the direction of EOC (Emergency Operation Center),” said Feliciano.

As of August 3, the city has recorded 9,094 COVID-19 cases but only 2,764 were active cases. The city had 5,808 recoveries and 522 deaths.

Cimatu attributed the decline to aggressive contact tracing, mass testing and the lockdowns that the city enforced.

“One of the marching orders given to me was to make sure to comply with the guidelines given to the city. First order was to make some appeal to the people of Cebu to follow instructions and guidelines. That was the initial stage of the success,” said Cimatu.

Cimatu said the city has undertaken a style of contact tracing that was not being used in other areas.

“I reviewed the performance report of those who conducted the contact tracing. That was the first time I was able to experience the way contact tracing was done ever. There is nothing like this in other locations,” said Cimatu.

Cimatu added that residents have also become compliant with the health protocols “and I am very happy for that.”

“We will not stop here until we achieved the MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) status. This is the goal of each Cebuano for the economy to recover,” Cimatu said.

Mayor Edgardo Labella credited Cimatu for the improved situation in the city, which is now under general community quarantine.

“Thank you to General Cimatu for having guided us to where we are today. Thanks Cebuanos, health workers and barangay officials,” Labella said.

The mayor asked the Cebuanos to continue observing health protocols as he also appealed to the public to stay disciplined to prevent the city from reverting to a more strict community quarantine.

“I am challenging fellow Cebuanos to be united against this invisible enemy. Stay home if there is no good reason to go out. Inculcate into our hearts and minds the virtue of discipline because we will suffer if we don’t have the discipline,” Labella said.