Secretary Michael Dino has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in isolation, the official Facebook page of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas announced late last night.

I am urging those who have come in close contact with me recently to have themselves tested for probable infection with COVID-19. I was exposed to a positive individual and am currently under isolation after testing positive on Feb 14, Sunday for SARS-CoV-2.”

Sec. Michael Lloyd L. Dino
Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas

Health care capacity is able to handle the increasing number of COVID cases in Cebu City, said Department of Health 7 chief pathologist and spokesperson Mary Jean Loreche.

Loreche said in a The Freeman report that she disagreed with the assessment by Octa Research identifying Cebu City as the new epicenter of the pandemic in the country.

“While it may be true that our cases are still on the rise, we’re still in control. Our current situation now is much different from last May to July 2020.”

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson

READ: The Freeman: COVID-19 cases in Cebu City still under control: DOH-7 belies epicenter tag

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There were 429 new COVID-19 cases in Cebu Sunday: 218 in Cebu City, 83 in Cebu Province, 61 in Mandaue City, and 67 in Lapu-Lapu City. The new cases bring the total number of active cases in the entire Cebu to 5,141 as of February 14, 2021.

Lahug locks down barangay on Sundays to contain increase in COVID-19 cases

Barangay Lahug enforced strict quarantine measures on Sundays starting yesterday. Only money remittance centers, pharmacies, and gasoline stations are allowed to operate on Sundays, Sun.Star Cebu reported.

Grocery stores are included in the list of establishments closed on Sundays. Food outlets can open but not for dine-in.

Ang Sunday man gud, mao ju’y daghan kaayo og tawo kay way trabaho. Anha na sila magtapok-tapok, kaon-kaon, inom-inom.”

Lahug Barangay Captain Hazel Ann Empleo

Residents will only be allowed to go out for work and essential errands. They were also asked not to accept visitors.

READ: Sun,.Star Cebu: Lahug temporarily shuts down some establishments on Sundays

Cebu reopens to tourists

Cebu is now open to tourists coming from other parts of the country, the official Capitol news portal reported.

Visitors who wish to stay in resorts and hotels will only need to show their pre-booked reservations while those who want to experience the different tourism activities will have to register ahead at the Capitol’s booking portal, Sugbo News reported.

READ: Sugbo News: Tourists from other provinces now welcome in Cebu Province

A lot of our constituents already are suffering, many have lost their jobs, many have been wanting to find some living. Because of these constraints (community restrictions) lisud gyud kaayo, especially those in the tourism industry.”

DILG Provincial Director Jhoaden Lucero

Records as of February 11, 2021 at the Cebu Provincial Tourism Office showed that 257 hotels, restaurants and other tourism establishments across the province have been allowed to reopen.

READ: Sun.Star Cebu: Tourists from other regions may soon visit Cebu Province

Researchers express concern over reopening

Researchers in a data company based in Manila, however, expressed concern over the ropening. University of the Philippines professor and OCTA Research Group Fellow Guido David said reopening tourism while cases are going up “is really concerning.”

Guido said there is a possibility that the more virulent UK variant is spreading in Cebu, based on the numbers here and the pattern in countries with confirmed cases.

READ: Philippine Star: OCTA warns vs Cebu’s reopening to tourists

Samples negative of UK variant

The Department of Health-7 said, however, 60 of the 70 samples sent to the Philippine Genome Center for testing were negative of the UK COVID-19 variant. DOH 7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said the samples came from the cities of Mandaue, Cebu, and Lapu-Lapu, and in Cebu Province.

READ: 60 Cebu samples negative for UK variant

Talisay Mayor rushed to hospital after COVID diagnosis

Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas shared more details yesterday about his COVID diagnosis. He said he was rushed to the hospital early Thursday after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Gullas had announced on Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Just for transparency since I’m a government and a public official, last Thursday (Feb. 11) 2 a.m., gidala ko sa hospital because I was very symptomatic. Others na maigo sa COVID walay bation, but I had difficulty gyud. I am still in the hospital now.”

“While my breathing was fine, it was my throat pain and cough that was really bothering me. Sakit gyud kaayo that I couldn’t sleep. I felt like naay bildo sulod sa akong tutunlan.”

Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas

READ: Samsam taken to hospital, now recuperating from COVID-19

Cebu has 26 quarantine facilities accredited by PhilHealth 7

The accredited community isolation units in Cebu are the International Eucharistic Congress Convention Center of Cebu Covid-19 Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (TTMF), which is run by the DOH 7 and supported by the Bayanihan Cebu PH (a private-led organization); the Central Visayas Center for Health Development (CVCHD) Covid-19 Center; DOH-CVCHD/St. Mark’s Isolation Center; Cebu City Quarantine Center; and Centcom Emergency Quarantine Facility in Barangay Apas, Cebu City, Maayo Medical Clinic Corp. in North Park, Barangay Alang-alang, Mandaue City; Escario Central Hotel in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City; New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah) complex in the South Road Properties; Alegria TTMF; Allegiance Regional Care Hospitals Inc.; the Carmen Covid Care Center; Cebu South Medical Center; City of Naga Ligtas Covid Center; Dalaguete Municipal Isolation Facility; Danao City Isolation Center; Lapu-Lapu City Covid-19 Isolation Facility; Mandaue City Hospital; Mandaue City Isolation Unit; Medellin Isolation Center; Minglanilla Ligtas Covid Isolation Center; Police Regional Office 7 Makatao, Malasakit Recovery Center; San Remigio TTMF; Sibonga Isolation Facility; Sogod Cebu Covid Care Center; Sta. Rosa Community Hospital; and Technical Vocational Building TTMF 1 in Talisay City.

PhilHealth has set as maximum reimbursement P22,449 per claim.

READ: Sun.Star Cebu: PhilHealth 7 lists 26 accredited Q facilities in Cebu

Over 20,000 loans for MSMEs approved

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its financing arm, the Small Business Corp. (SBCorp), approved, as of Feb. 9, 2021, a total of 21,695 loan applications under the Bayanihan Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (Cares) program to provide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) with urgent relief needed to restart their businesses amid the pandemic.

We have streamlined the application process and made it online to ensure that more businesses are able to avail of this service. SBCorp completes its evaluation of loan requests within seven working days, even faster if the documents are complete. Submission of documents such as BIR tax return can fast-track approval.”

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez

Loans from the Bayanihan Cares Program are interest-free, collateral-free, and are available to MSMEs, cooperatives, hospitals and tourism businesses that have been in operation for at least one year.

READ: Sun.Star Cebu: DTI, SBCorp approve over 20,000 loans for MSMEs

Pork supply in Central Visayas stable; measures against African swine fever in place

Pork supply in Central Visayas remains stable as preventive measures to avert the entry of African swine fever (ASF) in the region have been strengthened, Department of Agriculture 7 Executive Director Salvador Diputado said in a Philippine News Agency report.

Central Visayas Pork Producers’ Cooperative agreed to reduce pork prices to P170 or P80 per kilo from the P190 to P195 range.

Diputado said Cebu’s six-month prohibition on the export of live hogs and sows to other parts of the country will protect the region from a possible supply shortage.

READ: Pork supply in C. Visayas ‘stable’ as anti-ASF measures in place

DANAO FLOODING. Heavy rains on Sunday caused flooding in low-lying areas in Danao City. (Photo from Danao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office)
DANAO FLOODING. Heavy rains on Sunday caused flooding in low-lying areas in Danao City. (Photo from Danao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office)

Telcos, utility companies told to remove messy wires in Mandaue City

The Mandaue City Council has asked utility and power companies to get rid of “spaghetti wires” and to remove utility posts, power boxes, and water meters obstructing the sidewalks.

The perennial problem of spaghetti wires, drop wires and overhead cable wires hanging loosely from street posts pose a serious threat to safety and remains an imminent danger which needs to be addressed by utility firms.”

resolution authored by Councilor Jimmy Lumapas

READ: The Freeman: Telcos, utility firms told: Remove messy wires, poles


Worried over safety, Mabatid begs off from naming “ungo” interfering with Cebu City Hall affairs

Cebu City Councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid caused quite a stir when she spoke against an unelected person interfering with the running of Cebu City Hall. The person, whom she called an “ungo” would dictate even on councilors that she described as puppets.

“How I wish I can just easily disclose that person, but you have to consider nga my life is at risk as well… Kay dili baya ni binuang ang akoang gipagawas nga istorya kabahin sa City Hall,” Mabatid told The Freeman.

READ: The Freeman: Mabatid: I can’t reveal ‘ungo’ for safety reasons

Bobby Nalzaro praised President Duterte for suspending the requirement of Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) results for registration of vehicles.

“Maayo ra gisuspenso kay tan-aw nako morag lain na pud ning money-making venture sa taga-LTO ug mga interest groups. Dinhi sa Cebu City, nag-away-away ra ba kuno ang mga negosyante nga nagpaluyo ani.”

READ: Bobby Nalzaro: Unmask this corrupt LTO official

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