Garcia rejects proposal to place Cebu under lockdown

Published February 20, 2021, 2:21 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia balked at proposals to lock down the province to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia (Cong. Gwen Garcia Facebook page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Garcia said there were three consultants who reportedly proposed to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to place the province under a stricter quarantine status due to the rising COVID-19 cases in Metro Cebu and the possible presence of new variants.

 The governor said she would block attempts to lock down the province.

 “Don’t mess with us. We can take care of ourselves. I will not and never again accept a lockdown. I’ll fight for Cebu and the Cebuanos because Cebu is moving on and moving forward,” Garcia said in a press briefing Friday.

Garcia said the three consultants, whom she did not identify, also recommended that Cebu residents should not be allowed to travel outside the province.

She described the recommendation as a form of discrimination.

Garcia said Duque did not approve the recommendation after Dr. Jaime Bernadas Jr., regional director of the Department of Health-Central Visayas, made it clear in his presentation that the COVID-19 situation in Cebu remained manageable.

She said there was no need to upgrade the province’s quarantine status as it has already established its contact tracing and isolation centers.

 The province, along with the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue, is already under modified general community quarantine.

The province had 1,138 active COVID-19 cases as of Feb. 19.

Cebu City has been experiencing a steady increase of COVID-19 cases, tallying more than 100 new cases a day in the past weeks. The city had 2,897 active cases as of Feb. 19.