Davao leaders OK closure of entire region’s borders in fight vs COVID-19
DAVAO CITY—Leaders of the Davao Region closed ranks in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a major decision on Tuesday (March 18), local government leaders from the provinces of Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental, and Davao City declared the region off limits to visitors for two weeks starting on Thursday, March 19.
The border closure would be enforced through suspension of all land, sea and air travel into the region.
Sealing off the region will further ramp up measures against the spread of the virus, the leaders said.
The Regional Peace and Order Council convened the Davao Region COVID-19 Task Force on Tuesday to unify virus response among the six local governments. At least 187 people had been infected with COVID-19 in the country as of March 16.
The task force was convened after Patient 130, a resident of Pantukan, Davao de Oro, had tested positive for the virus while confined at the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte was designated as the task force’s chairperson.
In a statement, the regional council said it was necessary to create and implement a unified region-wide effort against COVID-19.
It added that the decision of the council was binding on all local governments ion the region.
The Davao leaders said the period of suspension of entry into the region may be reduced to seven days depending on developments.
As of March 16, 53 patients were under investigation throughout the region, 29 of whom were discharged and 24 still confined in hospitals.
There were also 1,196 persons under monitoring, of whom 187 were cleared and 1,009 still being observed.
The regional task force clarified that people can still exit Davao region during the regional lockdown but they are prohibited from returning until its lifting by April 2.
Edited by TSB
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