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Labella ready to shift to MECQ in Cebu City, Cortes preps for GCQ in Mandaue

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CEBU CITY – The cities of Cebu and Mandaue are ready to transition to lesser quarantine classifications from June 1 to 15 following the issuance of a new Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) resolution.

IATF-EID Resolution No. 40 issued on Wednesday classified Cebu City as a high-risk highly-urbanized city, which “shall be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until June 15, without prejudice on the declaration of localized enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in critical areas.”

The City of Mandaue is classified as moderate-risk city which “shall be placed under general community quarantine until June 15 but still without prejudice to the declaration to localized ECQ in critical areas.”

Prior to this rule, the IATF-EID reverted the two cities into ECQ due to the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases while the rest of the local government units (LGU) in Central Visayas were placed under GCQ from May 16 to 31.

Before reverting to ECQ, Cebu City was supposed to be under MECQ while Mandaue under GCQ.

Mayor Edgardo Labella, speaking through his spokesman, city legal officer Rey Gealon, said the city is now ready to transition to MECQ.

“If you remember, the city had already issued guidelines under the MECQ risk classification but it was overtaken by the IATF resolution placing us again to ECQ,” Gealon quoted the mayor as saying.

If the city is already under MECQ, Gealon said mandatory testing for Covid-19 will no longer be mandatory but will be encouraged especially for establishments which will be allowed to operate under the 50 percent workforce capacity.

Establishments that cannot possibly implement physical distancing and other stringent protocols under the new normal to prevent Covid-19 infection from employer to employees, among employees, and between employees to customers, will not be allowed to open.

Mayor Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City said he welcomes the IATF-EID resolution, adding that they are now readying for the transition to GCQ.

“We cannot stay in hibernation for an extended period. It is high time to revive the livelihood of our citizens who have been greatly affected by the restrictions brought about by this pandemic,” Cortes said in a message sent to the Philippine News Agency.

Cortes also said that although placed under GCQ, “our city will still be implementing stringent health protocols to ensure the safety of every Mandauehanon.” (PNA)