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Cebu tightens rules to curb Covid; may spend Xmas under ECQ

Republika

Inbound travelers heading to Cebu cannot easily enter without legitimate reason or medical certificates showing they are Covid19-negative, according to a recent executive order that Cebu City mayor Edgardo Labella signed just last week.


Among other rules, EO 105 re-imposed strict controls to slow down traffic near city borders with the cities of Mandaue and Talisay.


The EO came mere days after the region logged 59 new cases on November 14, the highest single-day increase in two weeks.


An upward trend has been observed in Cebu City, according to deputy chief implementer of Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) councilor Joel Garganera. Single-digit or zero recorded cases in daily tallies shot up to 13 on Tuesday last week, 28 on Wed, and 10 on Thursday. He also said that there are more new infections than recoveries in the past week.


If this keeps up, residents may spend Christmas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which may prompt some businesses to close for the time being and limit people’s movements.


The EOC’s data showed that a few individuals have flouted rules against mass gatherings, with some even renting houses to hold parties.
“This is a warning because a lot are no longer complying with the health protocols,” he said.


It will be recalled that last June, Cebu City was placed under ECQ due to a spike in cases and the region’s inability to give critical healthcare to patients. The Special Action Force was deployed to the region to ensure enforced health measures, and it was two months before the restrictions relaxed down to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).


Amid the growing number of cases, Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia backed the return to face-to-face classes, citing that the province is “not ready” for online learning and that only 20% of the population have access to internet.


Garcia believes that children will learn better with a degree of face-to-face teaching, and is aiming to transition back to this mode by improving books and worksheets of the schools.


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