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Cimatu to meet Cebu City barangay officials to map out strategies vs COVID-19

By Aaron Recuenco

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, the newly-appointed overseer of the government’s anti-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response in Cebu City, plans to hold a dialogue with barangay officials in the city to map out strategies to contain the spread of COVID-19.



Cimatu said he will prioritize meeting with officials of the barangays experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 cases. Cebu City has more than 4,000 confirmed cases based on the latest data of the Department of Health.

“The directive given to me is to help the people of Cebu understand the problem. We have to do something to help and alleviate the lives of the people there,” said Cimatu.

He clarified that increasing police and military presence in Cebu City is not yet an option, saying the focus is to come up with measures for the people to voluntarily comply with the quarantine rules with the help of officials, especially in the barangay levels.

Quarantine passes were temporarily suspended in Cebu City based on the order of Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, regional director of the Central Visayas police and concurrent regional commander of Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

Cimatu and some officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) earlier went to Cebu City to personally supervise and monitor the compliance of the people with the health safety measures in the area.

Cimatu said he is planning to stay in Cebu City “for as long as his presence is needed.”

“As long as there is a problem, I will be here. We will stop the bleeding, meaning stop the rise of infection. I am optimistic that this will be resolved at the soonest possible time,” he said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary and NTF Vice-Chairman Eduardo Año said that their focus is increasing Cebu City’s healthcare capacity, which means, focusing on the treatment and recovery of COVID patients as well as protecting the medical frontliners.

This is the reason, he stressed, why providing high-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Cebu’s medical frontliners is crucial in containing the virus.

At least 46,000 sets of PPE have so far been turned over to the city and distributed to the city’s health care workers.

‘We are enforcing the strategy of ‘test-detect-isolate-treat in Cebu.’ To be able to implement this strategy, we have to control the movement of the people. We will focus on areas with a large number of active cases,” said Año.

“We placed Cebu City under ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) to flatten the curve and even make the curve decline,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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