Mandaue, Lapulapu LGUs appeal to IATF-MEID for ECQ status after May 15
CEBU, May 13 (PIA) — Cebu’s highly urbanized cities of Mandaue and Lapulapu formally appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to continue placing both cities under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) restrictions beyond May 15.
The joint statement, crafted immediately after the decision of the IATF-MEID yesterday to limit the ECQ status to Cebu City only in the province of Cebu after May 15 following its increasing COVID-19 cases, was signed by Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and Lapulapu City Mayor Junard Chan as well as Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella in agreement to the tri-cities’ position.
Though both city mayors of Mandaue and Lapulapu welcomed the exit from ECQ to general community quarantine (GCQ) status, “we could not simply ignore the harsh realities that to our assessment, it is still not safe to proceed with the General Community Quarantine,” as a large part of the community has not yet been tested, the statement read.
The tri-cities on May 6 began the strategic and calibrated testing targeting at least 10 percent of each city’s projected population to get a clearer picture on the COVID-19 prevalence in their respective areas.
The rapid testing is still ongoing while its data can be used as a guide to undertake the necessary measures and protocols to minimize, if not avert, a second wave of infections that is reported to have deadlier consequences.
In the same statement, the mayors said they understand the clamor of the people to ease the restrictions, but this would not be logical considering that approximately 90 percent of cases in the region are asymptomatic based on initial estimation.
Furthermore, they underscored the importance of starting up the economy “but this should not be at the expense of the health and safety of the people.”
“We cannot look our constituents in the eye and give the guarantee that it would be safe for them to go out,” the statement read.
In order to flatten the curve, the 3Ts must continue – Test, Trace and Treat, the mayors stressed, as the tri-cities are still in the early stages of testing and tracing.
The three mayors maintained their position that not unless their respective constituents are tested, restrictions should not be eased.
Support of the community is vital and that people should get tested, as this is the only way of assessing the whole situation before safely migrating to GCQ, according to the joint statement.
“We expect that the national IATF-EID will acquiesce to our appeal since we have nothing but the best interest of our people in mind,” the statement read.
Only Laguna, National Capital Region, and Cebu City have remained under modified ECQ after May 15, good for two more weeks or until May 31, while the rest of the regions, provinces or cities throughout the country are either placed under low-risk or minimum health standards (no ECQ or GCQ) or moderate risk or under the GCQ status.
In Central Visayas, except for Cebu City, all provinces are now categorized under the GCQ status after May 15. (fcr/PIA7)