Cebu City readies for possible Covid-19 spike amid Omicron threat

Mayor Michael Rama on Wednesday issued an order placing the entire city under a state of preparedness against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) amid the spike in cases in the National Capital Region.

In a presser, Rama announced the reactivation of the measures implemented during the surge of Covid-19 cases in October while he was still serving as acting mayor.

Among the measures the mayor wanted to be imposed right away is the parent-supervised lockdown under his “Oplan Puyo” (operations plan stay at home) program, encouraging household members to stay in their residences if they have no essential transaction to do outside.

“We need to raise our guard, especially with this Omicron. Barangays need to establish their own protocols to guard their own territory,” Rama said, as he noted the effective implementation of inter-barangay border control during the last quarter surge of 2021.

The mayor urged residents to take the advice from health experts to properly wear their face masks, maintain physical distancing, regularly wash their hands, and stay at home when there is no business to attend to outside their house.

He clarified, however, that despite the Omicron threat, residents, including minors who are 12 years and above who are fully vaccinated, will be allowed in establishments like malls and restaurants provided they present their vaccination cards.

Rama said the city government will continue with its vaccination drive despite the threat of the Omicron variant, saying that getting inoculated is the best defense against the coronavirus.

In a statement, City Health Department head Dr. Jeffrey Ibones said the vaccination front-liners have resumed inoculation even when many sites still have difficulty getting internet connection and accessing vaccine registration data.

“We will do our best that we can give booster doses soon. If ever, we can do it here at Cebu City Hall where there is an internet connection,” he said.

Ibones also said his office is currently unable to send out advisories through text to vaccinees due to difficulty in connectivity.

In a presser on Tuesday, Department of Health (DOH)-Region 7 chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said they sent 37 coronavirus samples to the Philippine Genome Center for genomic sequencing to determine if the Omicron variant has already entered Central Visayas.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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