Just a few days ago, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia gave her assurance that the province of Cebu will not close its borders, with only stricter measures for minimal movement and social distancing. But yesterday, Garcia announced that Cebu will be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), or what is essentially a lockdown.
BREAKING: Governor Gwen Garcia announces that Cebu province will be placed under enhanced community quarantine or lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus https://t.co/lEyY6n0lBA
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) March 25, 2020
This comes at the heels of the first recorded case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the province, as well as nine presumed positive cases.
According to media reporters, the lockdown would take effect once she has signed the executive order within 12 to 24 hours of the announcement. After discussing the province’s next steps with its 44 municipal mayors, Garcia’s administration has released a copy of the executive order.
Full lockdown in Cebu, Philippines | ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE https://t.co/qkHLmLfpTI
In time lockdown in Cebu province the entry of all persons arriving at international flights in the Province of Cebu shall be prohibited pic.twitter.com/jXFS7kUwc8
— Cebusite.com (@cebusite) March 25, 2020
Effective starting March 27, Thursday, 12:01 AM, the lockdown may last for as long as a whole month, much like the ECQ in Luzon. While passengers leaving Cebu may still board their flights, anyone on an international flight is prohibited to enter the province. Cargos will not be restricted, but basic necessities will be given priority.
Garcia assured that the province of Cebu has enough funds set aside for each municipality of Cebu. However, despite these reassurances, people are panicking, rushing to get home to their families without a mind to practice social distancing.
LOOK: Residents are trying to head home to northern Cebu towns from the North Bus Terminal after Gov. Gwen Garcia announced the province will be placed on lockdown. Physical distancing was not implemented by terminal management. @ryanmacasero
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) March 26, 2020
Stocks of essential items are being depleted quickly with people panic-buying in preparation for the lockdown.
I am suppose to go out to do my grocery shopping today, but I think I won’t be going.
As my friend posted this pics on his fb account, the threat of a lockdown for the entire Cebu Province got everyone scampering to store food!
Taken in Ayala Center Cebu going to Metro Ayala! pic.twitter.com/MXQNCQHmVh
— Vhie 🏳️🌈 #MassTestingNowPH (@VhieCaval) March 26, 2020
And a few foreign nationals are scrambling to get home before they are further restricted by the lockdown.
Latest update: the island of Cebu will be going into 24 hour lockdown as of the 27th March. We have been strongly advised to leave before then as businesses will be asked to close, including hotels and restaurants. As previously mentioned, the only @qatarairways flights are…
— dom (@domscrut0n) March 25, 2020
The province of Cebu is witnessing mass exodus and panic-buying right before the implementation of ECQ, much like what happened in Metro Manila and then the rest of Luzon.
What are your thoughts on the Cebu lockdown? Let us know below.