Cebu City is the new epicenter of Covid-19 in the Philippines, the Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday.

In an interview over ANC, Año said that taking into account area and population, Cebu has surpassed Metro Manila in virus spread rate.

“Somehow, we’re able to contain in the whole country but of course in the National Capital Region and Cebu we have to do more. Particularly Cebu, it’s the epicenter now compared to Metro Manila in area and population,” he said..

Año cited June 28 data where Cebu City tallied 131 cases and Metro Manila, composed of 17 local government units, recorded 356 new infections.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier deployed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to oversee the Covid-19 response in Cebu City. The plan, according to Año, was to find more isolation facilities so infected individuals could be isolated and not undergo home quarantine.

Año, vice chairman of the National Task Force against Covid-19, called on Cebuanos to stop being complacent and adhere to health protocols.

“We are asking the public, the Cebu constituents to please do your part, observe health standards strictly. And likewise for those who might have been exposed to positive Covid patients, please volunteer and go to the isolation facilities or have yourself tested,” he said.

Cebu City is the only area in the country under enhanced community quarantine. Duterte can retain or ease the lockdown as he is set to announce new community quarantine classifications in the country Tuesday, according to Malacañang. John Ezekiel J. Hirro