Palace: ECQ only way to curb coronavirus spread in Cebu City

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2020 03:14 PM | Updated as of Jun 16 2020 04:36 PM

Health workers from the Bureau of Quarantine wait as passengers disembark from M/V St. Francis Xavier of 2Go shipping docked at the Cebu City port on March 14, 2020. Joworksi Alipon, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- Placing Cebu City under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) again is meant to curb the widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the major Visayan city, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Only Cebu City, which was previously under general community quarantine, will be under ECQ until June 30 to control the spread of the disease, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"Kung hindi po natin ma-contain ang pagkalat ng sakit sa Cebu City, malaki po ang posibilidad na baka kumalat muli sa iba't ibang parte ng Visayas," Roque told reporters.

(If we cannot contain the spread of the disease in Cebu City, there is a big chance that this would spread in different parts of Visayas.)

Talisay City, also in Cebu province, was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of the month.

The government's inter-agency task force (IATF) on pandemic response considered the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in the city which is currently less than 7 days, and the high utilization of critical care facilities in Cebu City, Roque said.

"Wala na po tayong alternatibo. Wala pang vaccine, wala pang gamot so tanggapin na lang po natin na ito lang po ang tanging pamamaraan para malabanan natin ang COVID-19," Roque said.

(We have no other alternative. There is no vaccine or cure so we have to accept that this is the only way to fight COVID-19)

Some 76 percent of villages in Cebu City or 61 of the 80 barangays have active cases of COVID-19. Thirteen of these are considered "worst-hit" barangays by the Department of Health.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said Tuesday he planned to appeal the city's classification to help its economy recover from the pandemic.

Labella attributed the spike in COVID-19 cases to 3 months of massive testing.

"Kailangan talagang we can go back to general quarantine because kawawa ang business natin dito. We will make the necessary adjustments and eventually, in a few days, we will make the necessary appeal," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(We really need to go back to general quarantine because the businesses here suffers.)

As of June 14, the health department said Cebu City has confirmed 2,810 COVID-19 cases.