Task force raises alarm over surge of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City


Posted at Jun 19 2020 09:27 PM

Task force raises alarm over surge of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City 1
The usually busy Mango Avenue in Cebu City is empty during the COVID-19 lockdown on June 16, 2020. Cheryl Baldicantos, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The government's task force spearheading response to the COVID-19 crisis on Friday expressed concern over the rising number of new coronavirus infections in Cebu City.

In a public address aired on the state-run television network, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Cebu City had surpassed Metro Manila with new COVID-19 cases.

"Patuloy na tumataas ang bilang ng bagong COVID-19 cases
at nilampasan ng Cebu City ang bilang ng nagpositibo sa buong lungsod ng NCR (National Capital Region)," he said.

Galvez said the coronavirus crisis also overwhelmed the public health system in Cebu City, saying it's being pushed to its limits.

"Tumataas ang admission ng severe at critical cases at ibang ospital sa Cebu at marami na rin ang namamatay. Meaning 'yung critical care utilization ay nando'n na sa critical level," he added.

In response to the worsening situation in Cebu City, the task force has deployed a surveillance team to assess the COVID-19 situation on the ground.

The task force also provided more nursing staff, ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) sets, and face masks to help fight COVID-19 in Cebu City, Galvez said.

"I also encourage the LGUs (local government units), the doctors, the health workers, the stakeholders to come together, unite and pool energies and resources to solve the health and economic issues in this locality," he said.

"Huwag tayong magkaroon ng blame game sa isa't isa. Wala pong mangyayari diyan. Dapat magsama-sama tayo."

Data from the Department of Health (DOH) as of June 18 showed that Cebu City had the most number of coronavirus cases with 3,216. It is followed by Quezon City (2,800), Manila (1,776), Makati City (814) and Caloocan City (802).

Cebu City also recorded the most number of new coronavirus cases in the past 14 days with 855. It is followed by Cebu province (253), Manila (222), Quezon City (215), and Caloocan City (96).

As of June 19, the COVID-19 has so far infected 28,459 people in the Philippines, with 1,130 fatalities and 7,378 recoveries.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday placed Cebu City back under the country's strictest form of lockdown -- enhanced community quarantine -- due to a spike of COVID-19 cases.