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Labella says he has data showing Cebu City is GCQ-ready

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Mayor Edgardo Labella is determined that Cebu City will be downgraded from an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to a General Community Quarantine (GCQ), saying he has data to show that the city is ready for a GCQ.

In his letter to Central Visayas Regional Interagency Task Force (RIATF-7), Labella pointed out that the supposed grounds of IATF to place the city under the ECQ no longer stands true.

The IATF stated that the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the city doubled in 6.63 days or less than a week, which it considers high risk; that the city’s critical utilization rate as of June 14 stood at 60 mechanical ventilators (45 percent), 27 ICUs (100 percent), 399 isolation beds (90 percent), 133-bed wards (93 percent); that 61 out of 80 barangays are affected and with active cases; and that the city logged a testing positivity rate of 33 to 36 percent.

However, the mayor said the IATF did not consider that the city’s case fatality rate is 1.08 percent and while it is true that there were 3,613 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Cebu City as of June 15, only 1,716 are active cases as 1,874 or 51.87 percent have recovered. (https://bit.ly/3hxMXmx)

“The recoveries in the city outnumber active cases. Given such, Cebu City can be classified under GCQ,” stressed Labella.

He noted that Cebu City’s recovery rate is higher compared to the national average of 23.66 percent and its case fatality rate is lower compared to the national average of 4.16 percent.

According to health data, Cebu City recorded 2,319 confirmed cases at the start of June and this increased to 3,613 by June 15.

“This clearly shows that cases have not doubled in the last 15 days,” said the mayor.

Labella also noted that the report on critical utilization rate, which showed a high percentage of hospital bed occupancy, did not include isolation facilities established and equipped by the city in cooperation with the private sector.

As early as April, the city was able to establish 52 Barangay Isolation Centers with a total bed capacity of almost 3,000. The BICs were activated to accommodate asymptomatic patients whose situations do not allow for home quarantine such as in the case of informal settlers.

The private hospitals have also committed to expanding their Covid-19 regular and ICU bed capacities up to 30 percent of total regular and ICU bed capacity.

Regarding the high number of barangays with Covid-19 infections, Labella said the basis should not be cumulative cases but the remaining active cases and recoveries.

The mayor hopes that the IATF will reconsider their decision and free the city’s constituents from suffering through the ECQ.