In a physically-distanced world, citizens are obliged to stay enclosed by the four walls of their homes, medical professionals are bustling in hospitals filled with virus-infected patients and the government is addressing pressing matters day-to-day. This ‘new normal’ was brought about by a new, novel virus 2019-nCov that has swiftly landed to attack the world’s inhabitants has taken the life of 1.65 M humans.
Magnifying to a region 7 province called Cebu, one amongst the many affected provinces has 24,492 total COVID-19 cases, based on December 2020, the highest in the Philippines. Cebu is the second most populated province in the Philippines and the most populated province in Central Visayas. It comprises six cities: Cebu city, Mandaue city, Lapu Lapu city, Toledo city, Danao city and Talisay city (Philippine statistics authority, 2013. During the pandemic, its two highly urbanized cities, Cebu city and Mandaue city, contained the most COVID-19 cases in the province. Similar to cities such as Manila, it has been difficult to contain Cebu’s COVID-19 outbreak. As cases continue to rise, lockdowns are strengthened and the future is blurred by COVID-19’s tumultuous road.
This paper aims to analyze the response and outcomes of Cebu’s efforts through the use of statistics from March to December and interview responses from the Cebu city Mayor Edgar Labella, medical professionals and citizens. Moreover, this paper’s focus is to compare the protocols and outcomes of two cities, Cebu city and Mandaue, as these are Cebu’s two highly urbanized cities and its COVID-19 epicenter. Based on the analysis of data and efforts, the paper will then provide recommendations regarding Cebu’s COVID-19 response in moving forward with the new normal.