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Tighter curbs enforced in Cagayan Valley as virus cases rise

Travel, business restrictions imposed while cities, towns in Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino under stricter quarantine
By: - Correspondent / @VillVisayaJrINQ
/ 04:35 AM March 31, 2021

SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela, Philippines — Even before President Rodrigo Duterte placed this city in Isabela province and at least four other areas in the Cagayan Valley region under a more stringent quarantine starting April 1, their local governments had imposed tougher health protocols amid the rising cases of COVID-19.

The Santiago government had ordered a three-day lockdown starting Monday when its active COVID-19 cases rose to 121 on March 28, Mayor Joseph Tan said.

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Tan, in a telephone interview on Tuesday, said most patients were taken to Southern Isabela Medical Center and private hospitals in this city. As of Monday, the city had recorded 1,642 COVID-19 cases. At least 1,490 of these cases had recovered from the disease while 26 had died.

Border controls

The city will revert to a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status from April 1 to April 30 after it was previously placed under a less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

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While on a three-day lockdown, the city government has restricted movement of its residents, only allowing essential travels, such as those going to work, responding to health emergencies, or buying basic needs.

In Quirino province, tighter border controls were set up in preparation for its shift from MGCQ to MECQ from April 1 to April 15.Gov. Dakila Carlo Cua on Tuesday said authorities would ensure strict compliance with minimum health protocols, especially in public places, to control the increase in infections.

As of Monday, local health records showed that Quirino had registered 719 COVID-19 cases. At least 442 cases were classified as active, with 266 recoveries and 11 deaths.

In Nagtipunan town, also in Quirino, the municipal hall was placed on lockdown from Monday to Wednesday to give way to disinfection and contact tracing after some employees contracted the virus.

Aglipay town was also locked down from March 29 to April 2 after some workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Isabela ‘bubble’

In Isabela province, local government on Monday began its own “bubble” while shifting to stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) until April 15, officials said.

On March 28 alone, the province had recorded 214 new cases, raising the number of active infections to 976.

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Most of the fresh cases were recorded in the towns of Roxas, Jones and Mallig.

Lawyer Constante Foronda, coordinator of the Isabela provincial Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19, said the bubble would last until April 5, “unless further extended, modified or withdrawn.” This restricts travel in and out of the province except, for essential purposes. Previously, the province was placed under MGCQ.

“No need to go on panic buying or be alarmed,” Foronda said.

Lockdown

In the capital city of Ilagan, five areas, including two residential subdivisions, were placed on lockdown from March 26 to March 31 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

On lockdown are Capitol Hills Subdivision in Barangay Alibagu, Francisca Village Subdivision in Barangay Baligatan, Purok 3 in Fugu, Purok 1 in San Vicente and Purok 1 in Arusip.

The strictest community quarantine will also be imposed on Tuguegarao City from March 30 to April 8.

At a news briefing on Monday, Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano said only authorized persons outside of residence (Apor) would be allowed to leave their homes during the 10-day ECQ. The city was previously placed under MGCQ.

Soriano said visitors’ passes issued by the local government, except those used for essential purposes, had been suspended. At least 568 active COVID-19 cases were recorded in the city as of Monday. The provinces of Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya, which were previously under MGCQ, also reverted to GCQ following a surge in infections this month.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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