The recent increase in cases of COVID-19 in Cebu is still manageable but may worsen if unchecked, OCTA Research said in a report released Tuesday.

In high-risk LGUs such as Cebu City, we urge the [LGUs] concerned to consider the stricter implementation of their current community quarantines while continuing to intensify their efforts at testing, tracing, and isolation to reverse the increase in transmissions in their communities.

OCTA Research

They also projected that hospital utilization rate may shoot to a critical level of 70 percent in just two weeks, if the trend continues.

Dr Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson for the Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH-7), disagreed with the findings.

“I disagree with the data that is the basis of the OCTA’s prediction that our hospitals in Cebu City will reach 70% in two weeks,” Loreche said in a Rappler report.

Given the real threat of the ‘game-changing’ UK variant possibly infecting communities in Cebu City, Mandaue and Lapu Lapu, these LGUs must be ready to consider the implementation of strict barangay lockdowns in areas that have already been identified as hotspots to suppress or mitigate viral transmission.

OCTA Research

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Mayor Gullas tests positive for COVID

Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas yesterday announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. He has isolated himself.

Despite my absence, our City Government will continue working. Our basic services will continue, including our Aksyon Agad services.

Mayor Gullas

Gullas is the 8th mayor in Cebu to have tested positive. The others are Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura, Barili Mayor Marlon Garcia, Tuburan Mayor Danilo Diamante, Asturias Mayor Antonio Pintor, Alcoy Mayor Michael Angelo Sestoso, San Fernando Mayor Lakambini Reluya, and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan.


Isolation hubs making money from COVID: Gov. Garcia

Isolation facilities for COVID-positive individuals are making money from the pandemic since they get up to P22,449 to house one patient, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said yesterday. The amount is the maximum reimbursement from Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for every qualified beneficiary of its Covid-19 community isolation benefit package (CCIBP).

Isolation centers now are lucrative businesses.”

Gov. Gwen Garcia

Garcia said COVID-19 has become an “incentivized disease.”

I don’t find it lucrative because of the 2,000 patients we served, only about 300 claims were considered qualified and PhilHealth only paid one claim.

Former Cebu City councilor Jocelyn Pesquera, who manages the Cebu City Government-owned NOAH Complex


Other COVID-related updates

Minglanilla to again require quarantine passes after recent hike in cases (Read here)

Those not showing signs of COVID 19 symptoms will no longer be required to undergo a swab test. Those considered first-generation contacts of a COVID-positive patient will be closely monitored and required to undergo 10-day quarantine. (Read here)

Gov. Garcia has eased restrictions on APORs or authorized persons outside residence entering Cebu’s towns and cities. They will no longer be required to undergo quarantine upon arrival. (Read here)

The immediate effect of the governor’s order is that it will ease the burden on the only two government laboratories that are performing the RT-PCR tests. Most, if not all, LGUs submit their specimen for processing at the Cebu TB Reference Laboratory (CTRL) or the VSMMC Subnational Laboratory (SNL). With the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, it will not be long before these two government laboratories will be tested to the limit.

Atty. Frank Malilong: Listen to experts (Read here)

Covid numbers in Cebu

There were 272 new COVID-19 cases in the entire Cebu yesterday: 130 in Cebu City, 80 in Cebu Province, 34 in Mandaue City, 28 in Lapu-Lapu City.

The new cases bring the total active cases in the entire Cebu to 4,241. Of the number 2,501 are in Cebu City.

SIMULATION. Authorities conduct a vaccine transport simulation to prepare for the deployment and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. (OPAV Photo on Facebook)
SIMULATION. Authorities conduct a vaccine transport simulation to prepare for the deployment and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. (OPAV Photo on Facebook)

VSMMC to get initial 1,900 doses of Pfizer vaccine

The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) will get an initial 1,900 doses from the initial shipment of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The initial shipment of 114,000 doses for the entire country will arrive between Feb. 12 and Feb. 15, 2021, Department of Health Central Visayas Director Jaime Bernadas said.

READ: Sun.Star Cebu: VSMMC to get initial 1,900 doses of Pfizer vaccine

DTI to hold live online selling to help Cebu businesses

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 will hold a live online selling of local products in its social media pages. The agency will tap “influencers” to sell the products, said DTI 7 Director Maria Elena Arbon.

Let’s all help our economy recover by patronizing our local producers and buying local. Buying local means we are acknowledging the value of the products of our craftsmen and artisans, helping someone get or retain their jobs and livelihood and ultimately helping in growing our economy.

DTI 7 Director Maria Elena Arbon

READ: DTI live online selling to help small firms sell local products

President Duterte to attend 500th anniversary of Victory in Mactan

President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the 500th anniversary of the Victory in Mactan on April 27, 2021, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan confirmed yesterday.

The commemoration at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan will be limited to 50-100 spectators to ensure social distancing. A highlight of the event is the reenactment of the Battle of Mactan.

READ: Duterte to grace 500th anniversary of Victory at Mactan — Ahong

Speaking of the Battle of Mactan

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has issued a statement on the controversial lyrics by rapper Ez Mil’s song “Panalo,” which included a line that Lapulapu was beheaded in Mactan.

NHCP chairperson Rene Escalante reminded the public to “not compromise history” and that Lapulapu was “definitely not killed in the Battle of Mactan.”

READ: ABS-CBN News: National Historical Commission has this to say about Ez Mil’s lyrics about Lapu-Lapu

A note on spelling

The rajah is spelled Lapulapu but the city is spelled Lapu-Lapu. Antonio Pigafetta’s accounts listed the name as Cilapulapu (a historian said Pigafetta might have recorded a local referring to the Mactan leader as “si Lapulapu.”)

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