MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has directed the National Task Force (NTF) to do a one-week evaluation of the Cebu City local government’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said the assessment would begin on June 22.
During the Laging Handa program aired Saturday on state media PTV-4, Roque said the IATF-EID’s latest directive was to orchestrate a “more calibrated” response.
“Inatasan ng National Task Force na i-evaluate ang ground-level response ng Cebu City simula Lunes para magkaroon ng mas magaling na calibrated response (The National Task Force has been directed to evaluate the ground-level response of Cebu City starting Monday to have a more calibrated response),” he said.
Cebu City topped the list of areas in the country with high cases of Covid-19, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to place the city under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from June 16 to 30.
The Department of Health’s (DOH) Covid-19 tracker revealed that there are now 3,317 confirmed cases in Cebu City, as of June 19.
To manage the continuing rise in Covid-19 cases in Cebu City, Roque said the IATF-EID sought the possible creation of an NTF Emergency Operation Center and the designation of a Visayas Deputy Implementer for Central Visayas and the entire Visayas.
Roque said the IATF-EID is also considering the establishment of out-patient services in existing temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, as well as the harmonization of regional and national data among the NTF, DOH, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
He said there was also a plan to improve the management of locally stranded individuals (LSIs).
Roque added that the IATF-EID also wanted the strict and uniform enforcement of minimum public health standards in high-risk areas like healthcare settings, wet markets, supermarkets, government offices, and workplaces.
On Tuesday, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella sought to downgrade the classification of community quarantine in the city from ECQ to general community quarantine (GCQ).
Malacañang, however, said on Monday the latest quarantine classification in Cebu City is already final and can only be modified after June 30. (PNA)