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    Palace explains community quarantine status

    MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has approved Monday night, June 15, the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the classification of provinces and cities from June 16 to June 30.

    Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
    Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

    Cebu City, has been reclassified as under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), while Talisay City, which is also a component city of Cebu, is placed under modified ECQ (MECQ).

    The President extended the general community quarantine (GCQ) status of Metro Manila for another fifteen (15) days.

    “Nagdesisyon na po ang ating Presidente kagabi at inaktuhan po ang mga rekomendasyon ng IATF. Naka-base po sa siyensya at sa datos ang naging desisyon ng ating Presidente,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. in his Malacañang press briefing.

    Cebu City was reverted back to ECQ because of the rapid rise of community transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the city’s data in terms of case doubling time and critical care utilization.

    Cebu City has 2,810 COVID-19 cases as of June 14, where 61 of its 80 barangays or 76 percent have active COVID-19 cases, with 13 worst hit barangays.

    “Meron pong doubling time sa Cebu City na 6.63 case. Ibig sabihin, anim at kalahating araw, dumodoble po ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa Cebu [City],” said Secretary Roque.

    The Palace official further underscored Cebu’s critical care utilization as a region, noting that use of ventilators is at 56 percent, ICU beds at 56 percent, isolation beds at 57 percent, and bed wards at 57 percent utilization. Compared to critical care utilization in Cebu City, which as of June 14 is at 45 percent for use of ventilators, 100 percent for ICU bed utilization, 90 percent utilization for isolation beds, and 93 percent utilization for bed wards.

    In terms of positivity rate, Cebu City’s testing positivity rate is 33-36 percent. “Ibig sabihin po, halos apat sa sampung tine-testing sa Cebu ay positibo. At ang transmission rate po niya ay 1.3, samantalang sa national po ay 1.07 lamang ang transmission rate,” said Sec. Roque.

    Similarly, Talisay City in Cebu was placed under MECQ because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases vis-a-vis its critical care capacity.

    Secretary Roque said that the situation in Cebu is indeed alarming because it serves as a gateway to other provinces. “Pero siyempre po, dapat mabahala ang lahat dahil ang Cebu po ay gateway to the Visayas. Kung hindi po natin ma-contain ang sakit na ito sa Cebu City, malaki po ang posibilidad na baka po kumalat muli sa iba’t ibang parte ng Visayas at pati na po sa Luzon dahil gateway din po ng papunta ng Visayas ang Cebu.”

    For the Cebuanos who will be under ECQ once more, the President’s spokesman has this to say: “Samantalahin na lang po natin itong ECQ para tuluyan ng mapababa po ang pagkalat ng COVID-19. Alam ko po mahirap ang magiging buhay ninyo sa susunod na dalawang linggo pero wala na po tayong alternatibo. Wala pang vaccine, wala pang gamot. So tanggapin na lang po natin na eto lang po ang tanging pamamaraan para malabanan natin ang COVID-19.”

    — The Summit Express

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