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127 Pagadian folk return from Cebu, escaping lockdown, coronavirus surge

/ 09:12 PM June 26, 2020

PAGADIAN CITY—At least 127 individuals stranded in Cebu City arrived here on Friday (June 26) aboard an Air Asia mercy flight, escaping both the renewed lockdown and rising coronavirus infections in Cebu.

Lawyer Jihan Bana, head of Zamboanga del Sur’s Balik-Probinsya program, said some special arrangements were made with Cebu authorities to have the flight proceed despite a ban on travel being imposed by the national government on the entire province of Cebu.

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Bana said the mercy flight was negotiated more than a month ago and was almost cancelled because of the recent travel ban.

Bana thanked the Cebu provincial government for facilitating the transfer of the passengers from their homes to the airport.

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Amid recent questions about the national government’s Hatid-Probinsya program, Zamboanga del Sur still warmly welcomes its returning residents, Bana said

Returnees, however, are required to go on quarantine before returning to their families.

Last Tuesday (June 23) the provincial interagency task force against COVID-19 announced 10 more cases, raising the tally to 18.

Provincial information officer Jeesrel Himang said six of the 10 patients had been to Cebu City, three to the National Capital Region and one arrived from Saudi Arabia.

Last week, three additional cases were recorded, all of whom are returnees.

The first five cases in the province have already recovered. Thirteen patients are on quarantine.

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