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Now Reading: INFECTION STIGMA | Task force cites faulty isolation, weak contact tracing as factors in Cebu virus spike
INFECTION STIGMA | Task force cites faulty isolation, weak contact tracing as factors in Cebu virus spike
July 2, 2020 , 05:00 PM

(July 02, 2020) – The government task force against the deadly virus on Thursday traced the causes for the spike in coronavirus spread in Cebu.

The national task force said stigma could have played a big role in the rapid spread of the the coronavirus disease in Cebu City.

Retired army general Carlito Galvez, who is also the chief implementor of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, had identified three main factors for the rise of infections in Cebu City: faulty home quarantine, weak contact tracing, and discrimination against those who tested positive for the virus.

Following his trip in Cebu, Galvez said home quarantine for infected individuals would not be as effective, since total isolation could not be assured compared to quarantine facilities.

He also said there was not enough contact tracing for persons who might have been exposed to the virus.

Galvez also mentioned the effect of stigma in admitting they have COVID-19, “Hindi nagsasalita, ayaw sabihin na nagkaroon. Malakas yung discrimination.”

He also noted that Cebu City is a major hub in the Philippines, with densely populated barangays.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier berated Cebuanos to be hard headed or “ang tigas ng ulo” in flouting protocols.

On June 30, the number of infections rose to 4,746–the highest in any city in the country.

A total of 3,933 remained active cases. While 82 have died, including four frontliners.

Another military general, Roy Cimatu, was sent to Cebu along with police commandos, to ensure that restrictions were followed under the enhanced community quarantine.

But Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, another retired general, who visited Cebu along with Galvez is being more positive.

“I can say we are really going on the right direction. Hopefully by July 15 maka-graduate na ang Cebu City from ECQ,” he said.

Galvez said they are planning to open the Mactan Cebu International Airport to accept 4,000 returning overseas Filipino workers, as part of the decongestion of NAIA. (Katrina Elaine Alba/MM)

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