COVID-19 in Cebu is Alarming

Author: Veronica Sabanillas
Post Date: November 19, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic in Region 7 is a piece of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus appeared Central Visayas on February 5, 2020, when the first patient of the disease was recorded in Bohol. The first two recorded cases in the Philippines were Chinese tourists admitted in a hospital in Metro Manila both who had traveled to Cebu and Dumaguete. The third case confirmed in the Philippines, was confirmed on February 5, 2020 which was also the first recorded case in Region 7. The patient was a 60 year old woman who have already healed from the disease at the time of the announcement and was allowed to return to China on January 31st. The first sample obtained from the patient on January 24 tested negative for COVID-19 but the second tests conducted tested positive for the virus. During the month of April 2020, there have been increasing number of cases in Cebu. There were also increasing number of cases in government jails. By May 10, Cebu City for a short time became the city in the country with the biggest number of COVID-19 cases exceeding Quezon City which had 1,558 cases at the time.

An Overseas Filipino Worker repatriated from outside the country to the province oh Bohol become its second recorded case on May 13 after a few months of no cases. The province of Siquijor became the last province in Region 7 to log its first case in which its first two cases that of returnees from Metro Manila was signed on August 2. On the second week of March, the mayors of Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue ceased classes in all levels for both private and public schools as a inhibitory measure against the spread of the virus. Colleges, universities, and other schools, however, were ordered to enact distance education measures. Cebu Province Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signed the imposition of a province-wide curfew from 10 in the evening to 5 in the morning the following day on March 15. The governor also signed that the Mactan–Cebu International Airport and the Port of Cebu would suspend all arrivals and departures of domestic passenger travel, effective March 17. Following the imposition of a general community quarantine (GCQ) in Cebu City on March 16, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella signed an executive order barring the distribution, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in all areas. On March 19, Mayor Labella ordered the provisional closure of all sales establishments in Cebu City, including all malls and the Cebu City Sports Complex but excluding establishments bestowing necessary goods and services, until the end of the GCQ. On March 25, the governor of Cebu signed Executive Order No. 5-N placing the entire province under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 27. Bayanihan Cebu PH which is a private initiative lodged quarantine facilities known as Bayanihan Field Centers for COVID-19 patients in Cebu which are to be run by the Central Visayas field office of the Department of Health. After August 2020, some cutbacks have been eased because the province of Cebu has been tagged as modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).