TOWNS and cities across Cebu province are reactivating their community-level isolation centers and will hire medical workers to man the facilities in response to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the province.    

Governor Gwen F. Garcia met online with the mayors Monday to discuss common steps that will be taken to address the threat of a new surge attributed to the more transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).   

The isolation centers in the barangays were temporarily decommissioned in recent months as COVID-19 cases dropped. 

The 44 towns and six component cities of Cebu “are to hire one doctor and two nursing aides or two midwives, whichever is available, to man these centers.  

Capitol will shoulder the monthly compensation of these doctors and nursing aides or midwives,” the provincial government said in a statement.   

Ms. Garcia explained that nursing aides will have to be hired as licensed nurses are “more needed in hospitals.” 

Other response measures that will be implemented include granular lockdowns in high-risk areas, and rechecking of commercial establishments and offices for compliance to health safety standards such as having proper ventilation.  

Meanwhile, the governor also met with representatives of the independent cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, who agreed to adopt the province’s “no air-conditioning” policy for public transport vehicles to help mitigate coronavirus transmissions.  

There are no border restrictions imposed within the province, including the three independent cities, despite varying quarantine categories. Ms. Garcia earlier said this is in line with the provincial government’s “one island” development approach. 

As of Aug. 9, Health department data show the entire Central Visayas Region had 14,218 active COVID-19 cases, of which 11,205 were in Cebu, including the three cities.   

Cebu province alone had 4,408 cases, followed by Cebu City with 3,656, and Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue with 1,679 and 1,462, respectively. — MSJ