CEBU CITY — Mayor Edgardo Labella on Tuesday said the local government would reimplement a liquor ban in the city due to the rising number of COVID-19 infections.
Despite the city being placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the lowest of all lockdown restrictions in the country, the mayor said he would still issue an executive order on the ban.
“I have realized that this has been the cause of the spike (of COVID19 cases),” Labella said in a virtual press conference.
The liquor ban, which will start Wednesday, will disallow all establishments of serving, selling, and drinking in all establishments and public places in the city. The local government lifted the ban in October last year as the area transitioned to MGCQ.
“I didn’t get this from thin air, I got this as a recommendation from the police,” he said.
The Cebu City Police Office, meanwhile, reportedly noted that most of the establishments that allowed drinking did not follow minimum health protocols such as physical distancing, among others, according to the mayor.
“We cannot go back to losing the economy again if we go back to GCQ,” Labella explained.
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As of Monday, the city recorded additional 77 COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of active cases to 1,504 based on the data released by the Department of Health (DOH).
The OCTA Research Group, which regularly issues projections on COVID-19, said last week that the province of Cebu, including Cebu City, continued to have an increasing trend in new cases.”
The group also warned that new cases could be seen in the coming weeks if the outbreak is not controlled.
The city will also ban all pork products and live hogs coming from Region 8 or Eastern Visayas due to the reported outbreak of African swine fever in some areas.
Both executive orders are set to be released later in the day.
— Report from Annie Perez