DILG chief: 'Cebu City is on lockdown'
Cebu City is on lockdown, the interior department said Wednesday, following the suspension of quarantine passes there and a spike in cases of the coronavirus disease.-
"Lockdown ang buong Cebu City," Interior Secretary Eduardo Año told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
"Under ECQ iyan at magdadagdag pa tayo ng mga pulis dito pati kagawad ng Armed Forces para makatulong dito kasi nakita natin na kailangan talagang mag-quarantine ang mga tao sa kani-kanilang bahay... Bawal talaga lumabas," he added.
(The whole Cebu City is under lockdown. It's under ECQ and we will increase the police and personnel of the Armed Forces to help here because we saw that the people really need to go on home quarantine. They really can't go out.)
The Visayas city's police earlier denied that the suspension of 250,000 quarantine passes in the city meant that it was under hard lockdown.
"Kahit hatiin mo lang na lumabas iyong tao n'yan, you have 125,000 na pakalat-kalat sa daan papunta sa mall," Cebu City police chief Col. Cydric Tamayo said in a separate TeleRadyo interview.
(Even if you halve the number of residents going out of their homes, you have 125,000 people out in the streets, going to the mall.)
"Stricter measure lang siya (suspension ng quarantine pass). Hindi po siya masabi nating — nagkakaroon ng confusion iyong hard lockdown. I-implement lang natin iyong ECQ," he added,
(The suspension of quarantine passes is just a stricter measure. We can't say — there's confusion that it's a hard lockdown. We are just implementing the ECQ.)
President Rodrigo Duterte last week placed Cebu City back under the strictest lockdown level: the enhanced community quarantine or ECQ that limits economic activity to utility services, food, water and other essential sectors.
Workers of authorized industries can still go out of their homes, both the local police and Año said.
The health department and local government will increase medical workers in Cebu City, whose COVID-19 cases recently breached the 4,000-mark, said the Interior secretary.
Health workers will be housed in hotels and other establishments near their hospitals, he said.
"Magaling ang mga doktor natin dito, pero talagang dapat tulungan sila dahil nalulunod e, sobrang dami ng pasyente," he said.
(Our doctors here are good, but we need to help them because they are drowning. There are too many patients.)
Authorities aim to downgrade the quarantine level of Cebu City "within 14 days", he said.
COVID-19 cases there spiked due to continuous mass testing that had screened at least 25,000 people since March, Mayor Edgardo Labella earlier said.