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Cimatu praised for handling the quarantine situation in Cebu

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu is lauded for his efforts along with the government of Cebu City for a major turnaround in the city’s campaign against COVID-19.

Secretary Roy Cimatu
Source: Remate Online

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and the government of Cebu City are responsible for a major turnaround in the city’s campaign against COVID-19.

After reaching a tremendous spike in Covid-19 positive cases in June, President Rodrigo Duterte deployed Cimatu and retired General Mel Feliciano to oversee the crisis response in the city. The results of their efforts in cooperation with the different public units can be seen in the downward trajectory of the virus in what used to be the ‘second epicenter’ of the pandemic in the country.

What made Cimatu’s response commendable

Cimatu said that the continued decrease of Covid-19 cases in Cebu City was achieved because of the citizens and their compliance with the minimum health standards and protocols.

He appealed to Cebuanos to cooperate and follow protocols and helped emphasize the urgency and gravity of the situation.

He also advocated for an aggressive contract tracing that was new and has not been used in other areas, lockdowns in severely affected areas, and mass testing.

He galvanized several sectors in the government to make sure all instructions are put in place.

Improvements in Cebu Covid-19 situation

Duterte placed Cebu City under general community quarantine at the start of August, and Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella credited Cimatu for the improved situation in the city.

The rate of replication dropped from 2 to 1.14 in a research conducted in University of the Philippines, which means from two people getting infected by one person, it’s now down to one.

From having a three-digit number of positive cases on a daily basis, Cebu City managed to drop that number to tens. This data along with the daily tally showing the decline in positive cases backed the decision on the quarantine transition.

Success in Cebu City to be replicated in other areas

The success in Cebu City on the health crisis management spearheaded by Cimatu was turned into an active case study that convinced Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles to replicate the system in other affected areas.

Nograles believes that this will provide stronger support in local government units (LGUs), improve pandemic response, and decelerate new infections in areas like the cities Metro Manila and municipalities in Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna.

A full month of Cimatu overseeing the pandemic crisis in Cebu and implementing the most stringent policies to tackle testing, contract tracing, isolation, and medication is seen as a benchmark. Following this development, Cabinet members will be assigned to the abovementioned areas to serve as bridge and harmonize the policies.

Massive cleanup in Kinalumsan River

Under the instruction of Secretary Cimatu, the highly contaminated Kinalumsan River and the coastal area of Barangay Mambaling will undergo rehabilitation and major cleanup.

The rehabilitation was started on August 11. This was spearheaded by the Cebu City Department of Public Services and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office  and in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7), Bantay Dagat and River Troopers.

A series of webinars will take place to be participated by government officers, private stakeholders, and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials to strengthen the cleanup drive efforts. Cimatu said that this cleanup is needed as a strong follow-up to sanitizing the city and ensuring the decrease of infection rate in the area.

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