COVID-19: For now, no more Burnham boat rides; malls to close early in Baguio
BAGUIO CITY — Boat rides at the Burnham Lake would be suspended for 14 days beginning Monday (March 16) as the Baguio City government attempts to reduce opportunities for people to congregate at parks amidst fears of COVID-19 infections.
A few tourists still roamed the summer capital on Sunday (March 15).
But Mayor Benjamin Magalong directed Burnham Park concessionaires to stop renting out boats and bicycles and has temporarily closed the Botanical Garden, Burnham Children’s Park, Mines View Park and the former Diplomat Hotel, which has become an art hub, until the last week of March.
At 7 a.m. on Sunday, the Baguio City Police Office put up checkpoints at all access roads, stopping all vehicles ascending to Baguio so health workers could take their temperatures and secure information about their travel histories.
The checkpoints were enforced shortly after Abra province confirmed Saturday the Cordillera’s first person to contract COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2.
Magalong said Baguio will not stop guests from visiting the mountain city, but travelers, particularly those who came from Metro Manila or communities where COVID-19 has been detected, must undergo voluntary quarantine for 14 days.
The same requirements will be enforced on students returning to the city if they came from provinces that have confirmed COVID-19 patients. The Baguio government had also canceled classes at all levels from March 13 to 22.
Following an emergency meeting also on Sunday, Magalong likewise required computer shops to close at 9 p.m. He also urged the city’s shopping malls to close an hour ahead of their regular closing time.
“The city’s siren will be sounded every 9.30 p.m. to signal people to prepare to go home. The second siren would mean time to go home,” the city information office said.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic as it has infected more than 150,000 people and killed over 5,000 all over the world. The Philippines has so far confirmed 111 people with COVID-19, including eight deaths.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of public health emergency throughout the country and placed the entire Metro Manila under “community quarantine” from March 15 to April 14, 2020, due to COVID-19.
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