South Cotabato: Lockdown, 10-hour curfew to curb spread of COVID-19
KORONADAL CITY — South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. imposed Monday a preemptive lockdown and a 10-hour curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the province in line with efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Tamayo said military and police personnel would be deployed for street patrols and border checkpoints to ensure the stringent order would be implemented.
“From now on, everyone in South Cotabato should consider themselves as persons under monitoring (PUM) for COVID-19,” he told reporters.
Data from the provincial health office showed a total of 506 PUMs and 11 persons under investigation (PUIs) in the province as of 3 p.m. Sunday.
The sudden increase in the number of PUMs was due to the influx of arrivals from the National Capital Region and other areas with local COVID-19 transmission, the provincial health office said.
Tamayo said as of 11 am Monday, South Cotabato remained negative of COVID-19.
Six of the province’s 11 mayors had gone into home quarantine after attending the recent mayor’s league meeting in Metro Manila, he said.
Travelers will still be allowed to pass by the province provided they coordinate properly with concerned authorities, Tamayo said.
The governor urged business owners to refrain from hoarding basic consumer goods in this time of health emergency, saying their stashed goods could be subjected to confiscation.
He said the stringent measures resorted to by the provincial government might be causing inconvenience and anxieties, but he apologized, saying the move was “essential to protect public health and safety.”
Transportation utilities will be allowed to operate in the province but their carrying capacity will be reduced to half to conform with the social distancing criteria pushed by the Department of Health, Tamayo said.
He urged private employers to allow their workers to work from home in this time of health crisis.
Tamayo said the provincial government and other government agencies should maintain a skeleton staff or the minimum number of workers needed to operate so that the delivery of public services would not be disrupted.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic since it has infected more than 150,000 people and killed over 6,000 all over the world. To date, the Philippines has 140 people infected with COVID-19, including 12 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.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which outbreak started in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei province in late 2019.
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