Laoag City back under MECQ as COVID-19 cases surge | Inquirer News
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Laoag City back under MECQ as COVID-19 cases surge

Laoag City Ilocos Norte

Laoag City, Ilocos Norte (Photo courtesy of Laoag city government)

LAOAG CITY—This capital city of Ilocos Norte was placed back under the more restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting Saturday, July 10, amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, local officials said.

Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc cited the “unofficial data” from the Department of Health (DOH) that showed that the average daily attack rate (ADAR) in the city was at 16.07 percent, which is considered high.

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A high ADAR means higher the risk of infection, according to the DOH.

The city’s two-week case growth rate was at 73.33 percent, which is classified as moderate, Manotoc said in an executive order containing the new quarantine status of the city.

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COVID-19 cases in the city continued to rise despite being placed on a general community quarantine since May 13. 

“There is a need to place the city of Laoag under MECQ to facilitate contact tracing and contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Manotoc.

As of Friday, about 35 percent or 311 of the 881 active COVID-19 cases in the province were in Laoag City, according to data from the provincial government.

It logged a daily average of 19 cases in a day from June 27 to July 8.

While the city is under MECQ, the movement of people would be limited to only one member of every household allowed to “access essential goods and service,” Manotoc said.

He also banned non-essential gatherings and imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Manotoc said in a statement on Friday that Ilocos Norte’s “frontliners are exhausted, and our medical facilities are nearing capacity.”

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With the surge of COVID-19 cases in Ilocos Norte in the past weeks, the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) in Batac City has already reached a “high risk” occupancy rate on Thursday, July 8.

About 75 percent of its 86 COVID-19 beds were already occupied, according to the DOH.

The hospital, which is the primary COVID-19 referral center in the province, also reported that 13 of its health workers were exposed to the disease and had to be isolated.

So far, Ilocos Norte had recorded at least 4,378 COVID-19 cases since last year, of which 3,417 had recovered while 80 had died. 

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