COVID-19 cases spike in Cebu City due to 'aggressive testing' — Labella

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 4) — "Aggressive testing" is the primary cause of the surge of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City, its mayor said Monday.

"I think we are the first local government which was able to purchase about 34,000 swab testing kits. Since then, we continuously had our 'swab testing' sa ating mga constituents dito, especially in those areas na may mga positive," Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

[Translation: I think we are the first local government that was able to purchase about 34,000 swab testing kits. Since then, we continuously had "swab testing" among our constituents, especially in areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases.]

The city mayor emphasized that the administration is conducting "swab testing" and contact tracing on a daily basis.

"We will never stop. We will continue to do this," he told CNN Philippines' Senior Correspondent and Anchor Pinky Webb.

To further ramp up its infection prevention and control measures, Cebu City will also conduct the Food and Drug Administration-approved rapid antibody testing, together with the local governments of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, according to Labella.

For coronavirus patients without symptoms, the city official said they have provided 19 isolation centers across different barangays.

Meanwhile, those with mild to moderate cases will be confined in the local quarantine areas. Labella said they have two operating sites, but they are putting up another one to accommodate more infected patients.

"For those serious and severe, they [will be], of course, brought to the hospitals," he added.

Labella told CNN Philippines that Cebu City now has 902 coronavirus cases. Province-wide, there are a total of 1,084 infections, based on data from May 3.

Nationwide, there are 9,485 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,315 recoveries and 623 fatalities.