Albay imposes border checkpoints anew to curb COVID-19 surge
LEGAZPI CITY –– Gov. Al Francis Bichara and all the mayors in Albay have agreed to put up border checkpoints anew starting Friday, March 19, to prevent a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the province.
“We are maintaining a very low number of positive cases in the province and it should stay that way,” Bichara said.
With the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila and Calabarzon, Bichara said they expected that more Albayanos would come home for fear of getting infected.
Libon Mayor Das Maronilla, League of Municipalities of the Philippines Albay Chapter president, said border checkpoints in Libon, Polangui, Daraga, and Tiwi towns would help slow down the spread of the disease.
“Everyone is welcome to enter the province provided they (are) equipped with negative results of either RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction), saliva, or antigen (test),” Maronilla said.
He said putting up border checkpoints would benefit the public, considering the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in other regions.
Albay installed border checkpoints in March last year but removed them when restrictions were eased up during the last quarter of the year.
All incoming persons are also required to fill up the “Albay Get Pass” online for contact tracing purposes.
The Philippine National Police would maintain the checkpoints strictly, the officials said.
Col. Arnold Santiago, acting Albay police chief, said they would consider uninformed travelers entering Albay over the weekend.
Those entering the province in the next few days would not be turned back even if they could not present a negative swab test result, but they would need to be swabbed after entry, Santiago said.
Those tested after entry would have to isolate themselves and be strictly monitored by health workers of their home villages until the test results are out, he added,
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