Two local chief executives in Cebu have called on the Department of Health (DOH) to coordinate with them before publicizing information concerning UK variant cases, to avoid panic.

In a statement early this week, the DOH said that two of the eight recently confirmed cases of the Covid-19 UK variant were from Talisay City and Liloan. The announcement resulted in panic in both localities and the entire Cebu province.

Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas clarified that the 54-year-old overseas Filipino who got infected with the new variant did not set foot in his city. He was immediately isolated and hospitalized upon his arrival from the United Arab Emirates, the mayor said.

“He only set foot when he was deemed recovered by doctors from a hospital in Cebu City,” Gullas said in a statement.

Gullas urged his constituents “not to panic” and said officials were exerting efforts to keep residents safe.

Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco described the DOH statement as “premature” and “unverified.”

Frasco said the municipal government did not have any record of the 35-year-old male who tested positive for the UK Variant.

Frasco said she immediately coordinated with DOH Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, who clarified that the case was from Sta. Ana, Manila, and not in Liloan.

“We must all continue to be vigilant and observe health and safety protocols, there is no cause for panic,” said Frasco, the daughter of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

The country has 25 confirmed UK variant cases, mostly from Bontoc Province in Northern Luzon. Ryan Sorote