Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said Wednesday there are around 12,000 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in Cebu City due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
President Rodrigo Duterte assigned Cimatu to lead the COVID-19 response of Cebu City.
He said that the local government would only allow the stranded individuals to leave the city once the community quarantine restriction eases.
“Merong 12,000 rito na locally stranded individuals,” Cimatu said in an interview on GMA News’ Unang Balita on Wednesday.
“They are staying in their respective na pinagtitirahan nila, mga boarding houses at tsaka mga relatives. Pero they cannot leave dito muna sila,” he added.
Cebu City returned to ECQ from general community quarantine (GCQ) on June 16 because of the increase in new infections as well as in its critical care utilization against vital care capacity.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced Wednesday that Cebu City will remain under ECQ until July 15, which means travel would still be restricted.
“Dahil sa ECQ, they undergo naman mga proseso bago we will allow them after na ng pag-lift ng ECQ,” Cimatu said.
Though Cimatu appreciated that improving compliance of the city’s residents to the quarantine protocols, he personally recommended the ECQ extension in Cebu to the Inter-Agency Task Force.
Cebu City is one of the COVID-19 critical areas in the Philippines. On June 30, it recorded 353 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number of new cases it reported in a single day, raising the total to 5,494.
Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier deployed more law enforcement forces in Cebu City to assist in implementing quarantine measures.
Apart from law enforcers, Año also said more health workforce would be deployed to the city to address the spike on COVID-19 cases.
“Magdadagdag ng doktor, nurses at meron din cycle na pagkatapos magtrabaho, quarantine mo sila kahit sabihin natin hindi tinamaan para makapahinga din at dapat ‘yung ating mga health workers hindi na uuwi ng bahay,” he said.
“Iha-house natin’ yan sa mga hotel, at mga accommodation na malapit sa hospital nila kasi tatamaan din ‘yung pamilya noong ating mga health workers. But in fairness, bilib kami magagaling ‘yung ating mga doktor dito,” he added.