Sara nixes recommendation to put Davao City back to GCQ 

Residents pass through a disinfection booth on Monday ( 29 June 2020) before entering Barangay 23-C, one of the high-risk villages in Davao City due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases there. MindaNews Photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 July) — Davao City has been recommended to be reverted to the stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) status from the less restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ) as the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) soared when the city was placed under the latter, said Mayor Sara Duterte, who vowed to appeal the recommendation.

In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday, Duterte said the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) has recommended reinstating GCQ in the city with the end of the 15-day MGCQ on Wednesday, July 15.

However, she stressed the local government will appeal the recommendation of the IATF-MEID.

“There is a remedy for the LGUs to appeal their classification. We will appeal to remain under MGCQ,” she said.

As of July 12, the Department of Health-Davao recorded 15 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 756 with 35 deaths and 456 recoveries. Of the total cases, 562 are in Davao City, 72 in Davao del Norte, 29 in Davao del Sur, 42 in Davao de Oro, 47 in Davao Oriental, and four in Davao Occidental.

Duterte noted that COVID-19 cases have risen “because people ignored the health protocols that have been put in place.”

To contain the spread of the virus, she urged Dabawenyos anew to stay at home, unless if they are working or need to go out to buy food and medicines, wear facemasks in public places, observe physical distancing, and frequently wash their hands with soap.

“Because the government cannot look after you 24 hours, you should have that ‘stay at home’ mentality because we have a quarantine, and what we are trying to do is to reduce the number of positives. We need to reduce the number of positive cases so that we will not overwhelm our hospitals,” she added.

She said that local health authorities reported a sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last four days.

Duterte said she was already anticipating the surge in COVID-19 cases from the time the city shifted from enhanced community quarantine to GCQ last May 16 both due to local transmission and the arrivals of locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipinos.

The entire city was placed under ECQ from April 4 to May 15, GCQ from May 16 until June 30, and MGCQ last July 1.

Under the more lenient MGCQ, she said many people have been reporting back to work as many business establishments and offices resumed operations.

Duterte appealed to locals to strictly adhere to basic health protocols to protect themselves and their family members from the infection, warning of a “ripple effect” if people lower their guard against COVID-19.

“As I said, the action of one person will affect the entire city. So if we have 10 persons who are not wearing masks and 10 persons who go out not for work or for buying food and medicines, and then they get infected, they will add up to the numbers plus the household members whom they will (likely)infect,” she said.