Cimatu wants Cebu City to remain under ECQ
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Tuesday that the enhanced community quarantine or lockdown should continue in Cebu City to lower the cases of coronavirus disease.
In a virtual press briefing, Cimatu, who was tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the situation in Cebu City, said the government needs to contain first the spread of COVID-19 infection before placing it to a lower quarantine classification.
"Let's continue the ECQ, especially there is a spike in the number of (coronavirus) cases," he said.
He noted that on Monday alone, the number of COVID-19 deaths jumped from six to 13, which is much higher compared to 10 to 11 deaths at the national level.
Duterte is set to announce on Tuesday night the new quarantine guidelines for various areas in the country starting July 1.
Cebu City is the only place in the country which remains under ECQ while its nearby Talisay City is under modified ECQ.
Cimatu said despite the lockdown in Cebu City, some people still continue to violate the quarantine measure.
He cited the June 27 procession in one barangay, "which is really a blatant disregard of our protocols."
He said the incident is being investigated and administrative cases could be filed against the organizers of the event, including the barangay captain who issued the authority to hold the feast.
Cimatu also attributed the increase of infection in the city on the return of the locally stranded individuals and overseas Filipino workers.
He said there were 12,000 LSIs in Cebu who are not allowed to go to other areas while Cebu City is under ECQ.
Once the quarantine is relaxed, before the LSIs are allowed to leave the area, they have to undergo quarantine and testing to ensure that they are not COVID-19 carrier, he said.
As part of the measure also, the official said they were looking for isolation facilities which are not near residential areas, probably near the seashore.
He also said the Cebu Coliseum could also be converted into isolation facilities.
Once the COVID-19 cases in Cebu City decline, he said there could be "granular" lockdown only in 12 barangays where there are high cases of infection. Celerina Monte/DMS