Yap to seek clarification on GCQ; maintains strict quarantine rules in Bohol
TAGBILARAN CITY — Bohol Governor Arthur Yap would seek clarification from the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) as it recommended to place the province and other areas under “General Community Quarantine” (GCQ).
“Give me one week to harmonize the provision,” he told a press conference at the New Capitol Building in the afternoon of April 24.
Based on the recommendation of the IATF-EID, GCQ, which has more relaxed measures compared to areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), will be enforced in provinces and cities that have moderate to low cases of COVID-19.
But Yap said that sea and air travel ban of incoming visitors to Bohol would still be in effect until May 15.
He also said that other measures being enforced in Bohol would remain in place: province-wide curfew and strict home quarantine, liquor ban, strict social distancing, mass gathering ban, mandatory use of face masks, regulated operation of business establishments, and “one-household, one-pass” rule.
Yap reiterated that Bohol, with a population of about 1.5 million, was the first province to declare a quarantine and order the wearing of face masks.
“How long can we stay COVID-free? I do not really know. What is important is we do our best to prevent any local infection to the extent we can,” he said.
Yap revealed that there are people who still violate the social distancing and quarantine policy as some would even sneak and sail to the sea despite the “No sail policy” order.
Despite the IATF-EID recommendation, Yap said they would continue preparing isolation facilities and increase the capacity of hospitals, as well as buy more ventilators and personal protective equipment.
Yap said Bohol was preparing for the return of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and those stranded in other provinces.
At least 2,967 Boholanos were stranded in Cebu and had received cash assistance from the province to help them survive.
Yap said these returning OFWs must show a certification from the Department of Health that they had completed the 14-day quarantine.
Upon their arrival in Bohol, however, these OFWs would have to undergo another 14-day quarantine in a facility.
“We have to moderate and adjust into manageable batches the arrival of outside travelers into Bohol,” he said.
He then asked Boholanos to observe fiesta celebrations in private.
May is special to Boholanos because there is a fiesta celebration in every part of Bohol for the entire month.
Yap, however, asked his constituents to pray and to donate food to frontliners instead of celebrating the fiestas.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.