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Covid-19 situation in Cebu

The Province of Cebu and Cebu City have implemented executive orders as preventive measures to the Covid-19 emergency situation.

Covid-19 situation in Cebu
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Covid-19 outbreak is putting Philippines in a direr position by the day. As a matter of fact, President Rodrigo Duterte himself declared the entire nation to be in a state of calamity on March 17.

Earlier, Covid-19 was classified by the Department of Health (DOH) as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” and is primarily spread from person to person.

Cebu Province’s response to Covid-19

On Sunday, March 15, the first positive coronavirus case died in Dumaguete City, which prompted Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia to ban trips from Negros Island.

The governor signed an executive order which banned flights and ships from all domestic airports and seaports, with the exception of cargo delivery. It will be in effect for 30 days in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The ban started on March 17.

Travelers bound to Cebu City are to undergo a temperature check, and those with temperatures above 37.5-degrees Celsius were sent to hospitals for further examination. Foreigners who arrive aboard international flights will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine, while Filipinos and holders of permanent resident visa will be recommended for home quarantine.

It also set a province-wide curfew from 10PM to 5AM. Classes are suspended on all levels including tertiary in all of Cebu Province including towns and cities. Malls, restaurants, cafes, bars, and shopping centres are mandated to close at 9PM. Included in the list of closed establishments are movie houses, cockpits, gyms, museums, and cultural and sports centers. 

Social gatherings are canceled like sports activities, and other gatherings, notably the religious ones. The one-meter social distancing precaution is highly encouraged.

Cebu City’s response to Covid-19

On March 16 at 12:01AM, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella placed Cebu under community quarantine. This is as stipulated in Executive Order 52 which was released late Sunday evening during a press conference held by the mayor.

There is no confirmed case in Cebu as of yet, but Labella issued the order as a “preemptive and precautionary rather than reactive” measure. This will be in effect until April 14, 2020.

The city would impose a curfew 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., which means malls, recreational establishments, community centers, and other commercial areas would only be allowed to remain open until 8:00 p.m. The only establishments exempted from this rule are medical centers, pharmacies, and healthcare establishments were.

Both public and private classes in all levels are suspended until April 14. Government work and some private sectors remain operational since alternative work arrangements are being adopted.

Under E.O. 52, cancelations and postponements of affairs such as mass gatherings such as concerts and fiestas are implemented. All venues for social contact are restricted, thus residents would only be allowed to leave their homes to go to work, buy food, medicines, or other necessary supplies, and to go to medical centers.

Passengers in all public transportation must be one seat apart from one another and the occupancy should not exceed half the capacity of the vehicle, including the driver.

Liquor ban in Cebu City

Under Executive Order 53, the distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages in all public places in the city are prohibited. This E.O. was released a day after the release of E.O. 52 and will be in effect until April 14 as well, 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and barangay tanods are tasked under E.O. 53 enforce order and confiscate liquors being distributed and consumed in public places. 

Violators will be imposed with “the appropriate legal action,” the document said. 

E.O. 53 specified the prohibition for “owners and managers of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other establishments of the same nature”.  This is in line with the city-wide effort to reinforce the curfew and discourage social gatherings.

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