Mayor Edgardo Labella encouraged city residents to stay calm while observing vigilance and avoid visiting crowded places, following the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte placing the entire country under a state of a public health emergency.
Labella said in a radio interview that he attended the meeting presided by Duterte on Monday to cascade the Code Red (Sub-level 1) alert level to local chief executives following his issuance of Presidential Proclamation 299 on March 9.
According to him, Duterte asked for the mayors’ help in the national government’s effort to contain the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“The national task force formed to fight the coronavirus is in place. Of course, the mayors will be there in the matter of implementing the protocol established by the Department of Health,” Labella said.
He urged Cebuanos not to panic but to religiously follow the pieces of advice from the DOH on proper hygiene and sanitation, handwashing, as well as avoiding crowded places to prevent being infected with diseases such as the Covid-19.
The mayor said he has been monitoring the local situation through DOH-Central Visayas director Jaime Bernadas.
Labella also said he supports the idea of early closing of classes for the present school year so that schoolchildren would be protected from the viral disease.
He said the City Health Office has currently monitored zero patients under investigation (PUI) and patients under monitoring (PUM) in the city.
“I thank the Department of Health and the Bureau of Quarantine for their heightened alert and surveillance in our airports. Lately, our seaports have been included in the monitoring and the Philippine Coast Guard is helping us,” he said in Cebuano.
With the active involvement of all government agencies in preventing the spread of the viral disease in Cebu, Labella said he is confident that the public health emergency will soon be lifted.
“Let’s just follow the protocol from DOH. Let’s continue with the level of vigilance that we have now in monitoring people from places worldwide that have been hit by Covid-19. Together with DOH and BOQ and the City Health Office, we are working together to address the problem,” he said.
Labella asked the Cebuanos “to continue praying to Sto. Niño” and ask for divine protection. (PNA)