“Saving lives means saving livelihoods,” says Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia

A report from the Daily Mail UK is promising. There are positive indications that the UK’s vaccination drive is easing the COVID-19 pandemic. Early research indicates the coronavirus vaccine is helping to protect young adults and over-80s. The vaccine is reducing cases as well as protecting recipients from symptoms.

Moreover, it is possible that Brits will get stronger and better long-term protection by a delayed second dose.

Based largely on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine research, it represents around three to four weeks of the vaccine drive.

Philippine Gov’t OKs deployment and vaccination plan to end Covid-19

The Inquirer.net reports that the Philippines plan for mass immunization against Covid-19 has met approval. The plan was revealed a year since the first coronavirus case in the Philippines on January 30, 2020.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) issued the “Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for Covid-19 Vaccines.”

In addition, all regional and local COVID-19 vaccination centers will implement the new vaccination plan. There are 82.5 billion pesos set aside for the vaccine deployment program.

The government could begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines to the public as soon as February 2021. Vaccines from USA’s Pfizer, China’s Sinovac and the UK’s AstraZeneca may be the first to arrive in the Philippines.

The inoculation plan underscored informed consent for citizens who will get the vaccine. Moreover, it said informed consent is an “ethical and legal requirement.”

Latest Coronavirus Figures

Meanwhile, the Philippines recorded 2,109 new cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on Saturday, January 30, 2021.

That raises the number of total infections to 523,516.

More than 95 percent of the 36,943 active cases are mild, moderate, and asymptomatic, while the others are severe and critical.

There are 475,904 recoveries and 10,669 dead.

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia’s Common Sense Approach

“Saving lives means saving livelihoods,” says Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia. “To save lives, the government must save their livelihoods. Saving people from hunger is also saving lives”

Photo courtesy of Sugbo News

The Department of Health, the media, and health experts should analyze the data correctly when reporting on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19.)

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia posed this challenge during a press conference Friday afternoon, January 29, 202.

The “obsession” with the total number of cases and presenting these figures without the proper context need to stop.

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia was reacting to a report by the OCTA Research Group, OCTA.

OCTA reported that the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Cebu has become a “serious concern.”

[Editor’s Note: OCTA previously predicted 4,000 daily cases in the Philippines by the end of January 2021. It was now predicting 400 daily cases in Cebu.

However, the 4,000 daily case prediction made by OCTA in December 2020, was way off the mark. In contrast, the daily cases reported in January 2021 for the country only broke the 2,000 mark a few times.]

A cause of concern for the OCTA researchers, “not a cause for concern for me,” said the Governor.

In addition, she said the report does not give a clear picture of the Covid-19 situation in the province.

“There is an obsession about reporting totals. Fine. Don’t lump Cebu City with Cebu Province,” she said.

Between January 1 and 28, there were 45,892 Covid-19 cases logged nationwide. Therefore, of this number, Cebu Province, with a population of 3.2 million, only recorded 767 cases or 1.7 percent of the total number of cases.


  • Compare that data with Baguio City with 1,115 cases or 2.4 percent of 45,892 and with a population of 372,791.
  • Davao City with 2,618 cases, or 5.7 percent with a population of 1.82 million.
  • Quezon City, with 1,971 cases, or 4.3 percent with a population of three million, all posted higher numbers than Cebu Province.

“So why are we singled out? Yes, granting there is a rise, but analyze the numbers first.” Garcia said. “These areas have far more cases and higher percentage than Cebu, but why only Cebu has been highlighted?” she asked.

Furthermore, the governor said health protocols have long been in place throughout the Province.

“…it’s not a matter of closing down the economy and locking down people just because of Covid-19. It’s a matter of managing,” Garcia said.

Garcia reiterated the occupancy rate of isolation centers in the province’s 44 municipalities and six cities is less than 20 percent.

In addition, of Cebu Province’s 499 active cases as of January 28, 189 are asymptomatic and 228 are mild asymptomatic. All are in isolation.

“What is cause for concern is our devastated economy.

What is cause for concern is that thousands upon thousands upon thousands have lost their business, have lost their jobs, and have lost their livelihoods.

What is cause for concern is when there will just be too many people who will go hungry and when hunger goes to the head, criminality will rise and we will have chaos on the streets. That’s the cause of my concern,” Garcia said.

The governor reminded the public that there are other diseases that need to be addressed like tuberculosis, rubella, polio, and measles, among others. 

Cebu is moving on and moving forward, Garcia said.

We are not living in a perfect world. There are diseases and there are diseases. The way to fight the diseases, including Covid-19, is to boost one’s immune system,” she said.

Based on national statistics, Covid-19 has a recovery rate of over 90 percent and a mortality rate of less than two percent.

“I have met and talked to the poor and hungry and they are desperate. As their leader, I must take their side.” More people are killed by hunger than by Covid, she says.

Santa Barbara! Why isn’t Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia running for President of the Philippines in 2022?

However, confusing other ailments with Covid and the constant attention on the count or running total of Covid cases may have caused the nation’s preoccupation with coronavirus infections. The Governor rightly points out that this has never been done with other diseases.

Moreover, she suspects that giving incentives to hospitals for Covid cases and possible corruption may have prompted the alleged over-reporting of the disease.

(With reporting from Vanessa L. Almeda, Mylen P. Manto, the Sugbo News, and the SunStar.com.)

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