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By: Mylen Manto | Published Thursday, July 30, 2020

Only half of the 210 individuals who were considered as “excess” watchers of patients admitted at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) were residents of Cebu Province. 

This is contrary to an earlier statement of Cebu City Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWD) that 75 percent of the “surplus watchers” are from the Province, clarified Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Wednesday, July 29.

She said that of the 210 watchers, 107 were from the Province and 23 were from Mandaue City. VSMMC are discouraging watchers from inside the hospital except for patients that need to be assisted.

The excess watchers are added burden to the hospital, Garcia said, because they have to be fed thrice a day and will unnecessarily expose themselves to whatever sickness in the facility.

Due to the high number of admissions, it was reported that 210 watchers were staying outside the vicinity of the VSMMC. 

Earlier last week, the Cebu City Government transferred these watchers at the Fuente Circle and provided tents as their temporarily shelter.

Since there were Cebu Province residents, Cebu City asked Garcia’s help to use the vacant lot owned by the Province across the VSMMC to house the surplus watchers.

“Karon nihangyo na ang Cebu City, nakig-meeting na kay daghan man kuno ni sa probinsya. Akong gipada ngadto ang atong social welfare officer si Marivic, ingon ko klaroha kuno na unsay nahitabo ana. Na unsa naba, nga ang kwentada kay 145 na kuno ka buok. Sa 210, 145 ang sa probinsya (they included residents of Mandaue City and Lapu-lapu City). Mao siguro ning si Junil Matugina ni report nga 75 porsyento kuno ang sa probinsya. Upon closer checking, it turned out nga di diay to taga probinsya tanan. Ang uban nibutang lang (nga taga probinsya sila)," Garcia said.

The governor also added those who were from Madaue City were also included in the province list, even if in the Department of Health’s recording of Covid-19 cases, Mandaue City has a separate count from the Province.

“Now let me state, di ko musugot nga gamiton tong parking area kay kahibaw ko kay karon 200 na, muabot pa na og 1,000 labi na libre pamahaw, paniudto ug panihapon. Magtikadaghan and this is a problem nga should not really be a problem kay kani sila they have to abide by hospital policies," the governor said.

"So, I refuse. I said no, papaulia na kanang mga sobra," Garcia said. She, however, expressed her gratitude to Cebu City Government for taking care of the watchers.

The governor said that of the 130 excess watchers from Cebu Province, including those from Mandaue City, 115 have returned home while 14 looked for a place nearby because their patients were about to be discharged. One was also still assessed by the VSMMC if she/he is allowed as a watcher.

She emphasized that provincial hospitals in the Province can still accommodate patients and urged residents to avail of its services to avoid crowding at the VSMMC. (Mylen Manto)