Cebu officials not letting guard down vs COVID, set multi-sectoral meet

CEBU CITY—Local officials here are not letting their guards down despite the continuing decline in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and have set a multi-sectoral consultative meeting to assess the situation in the city that used to be a coronavirus hotspot.  

          Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, chief of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO 7 )said city mayor Edgardo Labella is set to meet with the business community, health experts, and law enforcement agencies to discuss the city’s community quarantine status.

          The upcoming meeting aims to determine whether the city should stay under general community quarantine or transition to modified general community quarantine starting September 1.

          “As part of the policy making body of Inter-Agency Task Force in Cebu, I would really like to come up with a good assessment, come up with a viable recommendation, and discuss the pros and cons in lowering the community quarantine status,” said Ferro, who is the commander of the Regional Joint Task Force-Central Visayas COVID Shield.

          Ferro said that despite the decrease in COVID-19 cases in the city, he has not ordered the removal of quarantine checkpoints in Metro Cebu.

          Policemen from Regions 6 and 8 who were sent in as augmentation force are still in the city to ensure that quarantine protocols are strictly enforced, said Ferro.

          “The success in containing the virus in Cebu is because of the continued police vigilance. The best thing for the inter-agency is to talk it over and that measures should be in place before the lowering of the quarantine status,” said Ferro.

          “It should not be an instant move. We don’t want to go back to ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) or other areas to revert to MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine),” added Ferro.

          In the August 19 bulletin of the Department of Health Central Visayas, only eight new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the city, which has a total of 9,419 cases but only 1,270 were active.