Baguio, Cebu City mayors appeal for reclassification of cities’ quarantine status
Aileen Cerrudo • May 29, 2020 • 327
The mayors of Baguio City and Cebu City have appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to reclassify their respective cities’ community quarantine status.
“Considering that Baguio is relatively successful in implementing COVID-19 response and management measures within our borders, we are inclined to seek a reconsideration of our classification before the IATF Screening and Validation Committee,” according to the appeal of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
Magalong has appealed to the IATF-MEID to place Baguio City under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) instead of General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
The IATF-MEID, under IATF Resolution No. 40, recommended that Baguio City be placed under GCQ until June 15.
Magalong noted that Baguio City was able to successfully control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through their mass testing, and implementation of health and safety protocols.
Baguio City has recorded 32 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 29 of them have already recovered.
“With the steps we have already taken, the innovations we seek to accomplish, and the disciplined character of the Cordilleran people, you are assured that the City of Baguio will be exemplary in the implementation of MGCQ regulations,” the appeal reads.
Meanwhile, Cebu Mayor Edgar Labella also filed an appeal to place the city under GCQ instead of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). The IATF-MEID recommended for Cebu City to be placed under MECQ.
“Our case fatality rate remains at 1% while our recovery rate is already at 22% and we are seeing a downtrend on our COVID19 cases. I really hope that IATF will grant our request,” Labella said.
“It is but a logical step for the city government to transition into General Community Quarantine but with the corollary discretion to place under segmental and sequential lockdown critical areas,” according to Labella’s appeal.
The IATF-MEID has given local government officials to submit their appeal until Friday (May 28). —AAC
Malacañang is not convinced that the Philippines has surpassed Indonesia in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
During a press briefing on Friday (August 7), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines is conducting more COVID-19 tests which resulted in more confirmed cases.
“Ibig sabihin po dahil mas maigiting ang ating pagte-test hindi totoo na mas marami tayo kaso kaysa sa Indonesia. Hindi lamang nalalaman ng mga Indonesian kung sino-sino ang mga umiikot na mayroong sakit at least tayo alam kung sino po sila (It means we are conducting more tests. It is not true that we have more cases than Indonesia. The Indonesians don’t know who are sick at least, on our case, we know),” he said.
The Department of Health (DOH) has previously explained that the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines cannot be compared to other countries because of the population difference and health care system.
Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said no country can say they have been successful in their fight against COVID-19.
“No country could ever say they are successful. Look at Japan, look at Italy, even Vietnam, and Singapore,” he said. “We focus on what we are doing is appropriate, proper, and practical rather than everyday compare yourself.” -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
The Quezon City local government has appealed to the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure complete information of all coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positive individuals to hasten its contact tracing efforts.
QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said the agency’s failure to provide complete information in some cases delays contact tracing by days.
Due to this, she said frontliners are forced to spend valuable time looking for the needed information from other possible sources including social media.
“The lack of available information from the outset, specifically addresses and contact numbers, amounting to half of all cases reported, delays contact tracing by days,” she said.
Belmote said 573 or 47% out of the 1,224 COVID-19 cases from Aug. 1 to 2 have no addresses or contact numbers, forcing the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) to label them as ‘unknown’.
“With that, we appeal to your good office as Secretary of Health to set the vision and direction in improving data quality for rapid contact tracing,” she added. -AAC
Government offices that have been put under lockdown now reached 153, while over 10,000 government employees tested positive for COVID-19.
Among the offices include the Government Service Insurance System office in Pasay City and Quezon City which will remain closed until Friday (August 7). However, the GSIS advisory states that its online facilities will still remain open for members and pensioners.
The main office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Intramuros, Manila will remain closed until August 16 for extensive disinfection and decontamination.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES UNDER LOCKDOWN
NCR – 108 Region IV – 16 Region VII – 11 Region I – 5 Region V – 4 CARAGA – 3 Region IX – 2 CAR – 1 Region II – 1 Region XI – 1 Region XII – 1
Civil Service Commission (CSC) Commissioner Atty. Aileen Lizada advised that the head of department or agency should have a concrete internal protocol to prevent the further spread of the virus. This includes swab testing, disinfection, and other health protocols.
“So we need to see, dapat meron kayong ganoong internal protocol para ho na everyone is guided accordingly (So you should have internal protocols so that everyone is guided accordingly),” she said.
Meanwhile, a total of 10,344 government employees tested positive for COVID-19 as of August 5.
Lizada said employees will have free medical services if they wish to be treated in government facilities and hospitals.
She also calls on head of the agencies to continue providing salaries to Job Orders.
“Although there is no employer-employee relationship, I personally believe that the head the agencies must continue paying the salaries of JOs and COS. They were forced to not work because of this virus,” she said. -AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
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