Acting mayor assures Cebu City capable of managing COVID situation

Published August 2, 2021, 5:00 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Acting Mayor Michael Rama assured that the city has the capability to manage the worsening COVID-19 situation.

A scene in Cebu city went viral where cars are seen lining up in front of a private hospital with oxygen tanks stationed beside each vehicle Sunday night, August 1. Those cars were said to have patients who are experiencing cough and difficulty in breathing and are waiting to be accommodated by the said hospital. (PTV-4/MANILA BULLETIN)

Rama said it will take a collective effort to contain the spread of the virus even as the city continued to find ways to augment its COVID-19 response.

“We can handle this. That’s why we are a city. We can handle this with the help of the province and everyone,” Rama said in a press conference Monday.

The city is faced with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases with its active cases reaching 2,942 as of August 21. The city recorded 413 new cases last Sunday, the highest new cases it recorded in a single day since the pandemic struck last year.

City officials have admitted the rising cases have overwhelmed major hospitals in the city, causing long lines of patients waiting to be admitted.

Last Sunday night, at least 33 patients were forced to stay outside a private hospital while waiting to be admitted. Some patients stayed in their vehicles while same stayed in the lobby.

Patients who were experiencing difficulty in breathing were aided with oxygen.

People have also started flocking to pharmacies to buy oxygen tanks.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, chief of the city’s Emergency Operations Center, said the city has actually 443 vacant COVID-19 beds.

“We still have vacant COVID-19 beds but the questions is, do we have enough personnel?” Garganera said.

The rising COVID-19 cases came on the heels of the reported resignation of some nurses at the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) following the delay in the release of their salaries.

The city has said it will be hiring 200 nurses to be deployed in private and government hospitals in the city.

Rama said the hiring of new nurses encountered some delays but the city is already finding ways to resolve the issue.

Rama has also instructed City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. to ensure the that first three floors of the CCMC will already be operational in the next three days.

Rama also ordered the immediate expansion of the Cebu City Quarantine Center to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.