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Cebu Covid-19 updates as of mid-December 2020

Cebu is one of the areas in the country with the highest cases of Covid-19. Here are the latest Cebu Covid-19 updates as of mid-December 2020

Cebu island and neighboring islands
Source: MSN

Cebu is one of the areas in the country with the highest cases of Covid-19. It has gone on a lot of government-mandated adjustments in their effort to ‘flatten the curve’. Here are the latest updates in Cebu City.

Remaining positive cases in Cebu

Central Visayas only has 566 active cases as per the Department of Health’s (DOH) latest record. This makes the total number of 24,611 cases in the region since the pandemic started in this year’s first quarter, with 22,634 recoveries and 1,411 fatalities.

Of the current figure, there are 137 recoveries and 40 new cases. Cebu City currently has 88 active cases while Mandaue City has 25 and Lapu-lapu City has 66.

Misa de Gallo and the threat of surge in cases

It’s Christmas season and despite the threat of contracting the virus, people are still out to practice the centuries-long Catholic tradition of attending the Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi, a series of dawn masses that starts on December 16 and leads to Christmas Day. There is also the alternative, which is the anticipated masses that start at 7PM.

A possible surge of the COVID-19 cases may be expected, according to Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella. The overcrowding in churches and the surrounding vicinity which was happened in the first two days of Simbang Gabi is a cause for concern. This is why the city government implemented measures to ensure social distancing and safety to churchgoers who in the face of the pandemic still cannot let go of the practice.

160 uniformed personnel were deployed in major Catholic churches to enforce the measures. They include:

  • 50 percent capacity in churches
  • checkpoints on roads leading to churches to screen the churchgoers
  • age restrictions that prohibit those below 15 years old and above 65 years old from attending
  • denial of entry to persons not wearing masks and face shields (no police apprehension)
  • prohibition of dawn masses in malls, barangay gyms, and other venues outside the churches
  • prohibition of touching and kissing of religious images at the church.

Churchgoers may attend the masses without bringing their quarantine passes as per the mayor’s Executive Order outlining the rules for Simbang Gabi.

Rollout of vaccine

Secretary Carlito Galvex of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had confirmed with Mayor Labella that Cebu City residents will be prioritized in the rollout of vaccine that may become available in 2021.

However, not all Cebuanos will be inoculated. The Cebu City government only allotted Php500 million of its budget in the 2021 Annual Investment Plan for the purchasing of the vaccines because the certainty of getting them wasn’t established at the time of the proposal drafting.

Vice Mayor Mike Rama in his privilege speech on December 16 expressed his concerns over the mode of distribution for the vaccines and is demanding from the city executive department a solid plan on the logistics of the vaccine rollout, including the augmentation of the budget.

Doctors get sued by a powerful clan for handling of Covid-19 stricken family members

The Garcia clan spearheaded by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia is planning to sue the two doctors who handled the cases of their deceased family members, Marlon and Nelson Garcia, who have perished while being treated.

According to the affidavit released by Doctor Ravi Durvasula in support of the Garcia’s claim, the two members died due to:

  • “Lack of observance of standard care and procedure.”
  • “Employment of highly questionable and unnecessary tests and treatments”
  • “Exaggerated or unsupported laboratory results”

Gwen Garcia said, “We hope that other Cebuanos will not needlessly die because of this very obvious medical negligence, criminal negligence.”

While the Garcias certainly have the means and power to bring justice to their fallen kin, there are those less privileged that suffered the same injustices or worse at the height of the pandemic who grieve in silence and whose unfortunate stories can only serve as cautionary tales for the common folk.

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