Cebu City taps military to enforce curfew amid rising COVID-19 cases

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Cebu City (CNN Philippines, January 16) – The military was tapped to help enforce curfew hours in Cebu City on Friday night amid rising COVID-19 cases.

The curfew begins at 11 p.m.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer at the local Emergency Operations Center, said armored personnel carriers (APC) from the Central Command were sent to barangay Pasil, Sawang-Calero, Suba, and Ermita.

Officials beefed up security to enforce health protocols amid the conduct of fiestas in honor of the Holy Child Jesus or Santo Niño, apart from the celebration at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño where public activities were canceled.

APCs were last deployed in June and July when the number of cases were almost at par with those in Metro Manila.

Garganera said the city recorded a steady increase in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the year. The Department of Health in Central Visayas recorded 61 new cases in Cebu City on Friday, the highest number of new infections in past months.

As of January 15, the city listed 552 active cases from 81 on December 28.

Cebu City recorded 11,333 cases since the pandemic, including 699 deaths.

Garganera said that from the more than 500 active cases, at least 100 households were under lockdown, some since January 1.

"Even if the positive patients are being extracted and isolated, the close contacts in that household will remain lockdown for 14 days,” he said.

CNN Philippines' Cebu correspondent Dale Israel contributed to this report.