Jail time, fines await people straying in Pampanga
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The provincial government of Pampanga will impose jail time and fines against people who will mingle and stray while waiting for the results of their swab tests for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Gov. Dennis Pineda on Friday issued an executive order restricting the movement of people whose reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results are pending in order to curb virus transmission that continued to surge in the province.
Pineda said there were cases in which the virus had been passed on by people who unnecessarily stayed outdoors after they were swabbed for samples.
He invoked Provincial Ordinance No. 755 that empowers him to “implement emergency measures, including the quarantine and restrictions in the movement and travel of persons within the province.”
In his executive order, Pineda enforced a mandatory quarantine or isolation in qualified facilities for those awaiting their laboratory results.
Those who will violate the order will face jail time of up to five months or pay a fine of up to P50,000, both of which are provided under Provincial Ordinance No. 755.
He also required testing centers to report to authorities the names and residences of people who took swab tests, inform them of a form consenting to quarantine or isolation, and report laboratory results as well.
The Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital and Green City Medical Center, both in this Pampanga capital, are the only facilities whose laboratories are accredited by the Department of Health to do tests determining or ruling out the presence of the virus.
As of Thursday, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pampanga had climbed to 425, more than half of which happened in late June when the quarantine had been eased.
Three sub-villages in Barangay San Agustin, also in this city, continued to be on localized lockdown until Aug. 15 due to three new cases of COVID-19.
In Angeles City, Marquee Mall was closed starting Friday for disinfection after two employees of a clothing store tested positive for the virus. —TONETTE OREJAS
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