77 front-liners test positive for Covid-19 in Cebu City; 4 die

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FRONT-LINERS WITH COVID-19. Lawyer Rey Gealon, spokesperson of Mayor Edgardo Labella, gives the daily update on the Covid-19 situation in Cebu City. On Tuesday (June 30, 2020), he said 77 city government workers and front-liners tested positive for coronavirus, of whom four have died. (Screengrab from Cebu City Hall PIO video)

CEBU CITY – The Cebu City Hall on Tuesday flew the Philippine flag at half-mast as a sign of respect to 77 city government workers and front-liners infected with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), of whom four have died.

Mayor Edgardo Labella, speaking through lawyer Rey Gealon, said among those who died was City Councilor and former Congressman Antonio Cuenco.

In a briefing, Gealon said the other fatalities are a sanitary inspector of the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD), an engineer of the Department of Public Services, and a barangay health worker (BHW).

The CCHD is also verifying if the cause of death of OIC City Treasurer Arlene Rentuza was related to Covid-19.

Gealon said of the 77 city government front-liners tested positive for coronavirus, 12 are personnel of the CCHD, 29 are working in the city ambulance service, and 36 are BHWs serving in the clustered Barangay Isolation Centers (BIC) and clustered clinics in different villages here.

Most of the city workers infected with the coronavirus were involved either in taking swab specimens from suspected Covid-19 patients, or taking blood samples for rapid testing and in contact tracing, he said.

“We can’t stop them from serving the front-line. They swear to serve the people in the City of Cebu,” Galeon said in Cebuano.

Labella, he said, has reiterated his call on the city residents to stay in their homes and avoid going out if they do not have any important transaction and essential things to buy.

Meanwhile, the Cebu provincial government said the capitol will be closed from July 1 to 3 to give way for full disinfection.

This, as 15 capitol workers were found positive of Covid-19.

At least 12 of the provincial government workers infected with coronavirus are residents of Cebu City, two are from Mandaue City and one from Talisay City.

Meanwhile, Labella has ordered another village chief to explain the holding of a fiesta celebration in Barangay Calamba.

Labella sent a show cause order dated June 30 and reminded Victor Quijano that holding a fiesta was a violation of Executive Order No. 82, prohibiting mass gatherings.

He ordered Quijano and the barangay council members to explain in 24 hours why they should not be held administratively liable for gross negligence and dereliction of duty under the Local Government Code of 1992 and criminal prosecution for resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or agents under the Revised Penal Code.

A Facebook post from a certain Skydancer Jill Bonch on Monday showed Calamba villagers dancing and eating together.

According to a CCHD advisory on Tuesday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 5,494 with 353 new cases and zero fatality.

A total of 2,723 recoveries were also recorded. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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