National Gov’t, Cebu Iron Out Conflicts in Fighting Covid-19

CEBU CITY, Philippines: The country’s COVID-19 task forces emphasized the need for the national government and the provincial government of Cebu to work together to protect the province from the threat of COVID-19 being a major gateway to Visayas and Luzon.

This was among the major discussion points during a meeting on Tuesday, June 29, between National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) officials, provincial executives of Cebu and medical experts.

“Cebu is not just the gateway in Visayas, but a gateway even in Luzon. We have to remember that Cebu is a major entry point, and we need to protect our gateway,” said NTF COVID-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr.

Philippine anti-Covid vaccine head Carlito Galvez Jr. speaks to Cebu officials via zoom teleconference.

“Let us support what the President has already decided — to really follow our 10 plus 4 quarantine protocol and policy,” IATF Chairperson and Health Secretary Francisco Duque stressed.

IATF co-chair and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles said the government must closely monitor how the Delta variant mutates and spreads.

“We must have a second look at the way the Delta variant acts, the way the variant moves, it increases the transmissibility and hospitalization, the way it has spread to 85 other countries,” Nograles said.

“And this is perhaps the most important supervening event that we have to closely look at,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cebu Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia told the task force officials that the ties that bind Filipinos are stronger than the differences in their opinions, policies, and beliefs.

“I extended a hand as a leap of faith, believing that the differences that may have separated us are nothing compared to the ties that bind us as Filipinos, as people, bound together to face a challenge that never before happened in recent memory,” Garcia said.

From January to June 2021, Cebu recorded 71,316 cases, 61,187 recovered patients, and 2,197 deaths. The province has been placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) since September 2020.