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Bacolod mayor orders total ban on ships from China, HK, Macau

/ 06:42 PM February 27, 2020

BACOLOD CITY — Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia on Wednesday (Feb. 26) ordered a total ban on entry of all vessels coming from China, Hong Kong and Macau in any port in the city to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

In an executive order, Leonardia said the city government was conscious about the threat of COVID-19 and the danger it could bring to the city and its residents.

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He cited the Jan. 30 declaration of World Health Organization (WHO) of COVID-19 as a health emergency of international concern.

“It is well understood that the WHO directs the urgent need to coordinate the international efforts to minimize the threat of the COVID-19 and to reduce the risk of further international spread,” Leonardia said.

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The mayor also cited section 16 of Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code, which provides that every local government unit should ensure the health and safety of residents within its jurisdiction.

So far, COVID-19 has killed more than 2,600 people and infected over 80,000 others worldwide. Outside China, the virus has killed more than 40 people.

Bacolod and Negros Occidental province remained COVID-19 free.

Recently, crewmen of two cargo vessels that arrived at the Bacolod City port were not allowed to disembark to prevent the spread of the virus.

Lt. Cmdr. Jansen Benjamin, chief of the Negros Occidental Coast Guard, said the 19 crewmen of MV Unicorn Bravo and 23 crewmen of MV BMC Catherine Voy were checked for signs of the virus by the Bureau of Quarantine.

MV Unicorn Bravo, which came from Xiamen, China with a crew of 15 Chinese and four Myanmar nationals, arrived at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port last Monday (Feb. 24).

MV BMC Catherine Voy, which came from Vietnam with a crew of 19 Vietnamese and four Indian nationals, arrived at the Bredco port last Feb. 25.

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Dr. Sebastian Tabuga, medical quarantine officer, said all crew members did not have fever.

But, as a safety precaution, the crewmen would not be allowed to leave their ships.

The ships’ cargoes were unloaded, though.

Edited by TSB
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