2 tourist towns in Cebu under lockdown due to COVID-19 surge
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Two towns in southern Cebu famous for their tourist attractions have been placed under “hard lockdown” by local government officials to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus in the municipalities.
Santander town is limiting the movement of its residents from July 26 to Aug. 1, while its neighboring town of Samboan has ordered people in its seven villages to stay at home unless necessary.
Both towns are famous for their tourist destinations, including white sand beaches and waterfalls.
Samboan town Mayor Emerito Calderon Jr. placed the villages of Bato, Bonbon, Colase, Suba, Dalahikan, Poblacion and Tangbo on lockdown from July 23 to July 28, which could be extended if needed.
“The municipality of Samboan has a rising number of COVID-19 cases, symptomatic and asymptomatic, with COVID-19 suspect deaths for the past two weeks,” Calderon said in his executive order.
Cops, prisoners infected
As of Saturday, Samboan has 67 active COVID-19 cases, according to the Department of Health in Central Visayas.
Among those infected with the virus were 13 policemen and 14 detainees of the Samboan Police Station.
Police Col. Engelbert Soriano, director of the Cebu Police Provincial Office, said eight policemen from the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company had been deployed to Samboan to help augment the 18 healthy policemen who were left to man the police station.
“The Samboan Police Station would continue to deliver basic services since there are still healthy policemen manning it,” he said.
Soriano assured that all infected policemen and detainees were isolated, assisted and cared for.
During the lockdown, business establishments in Samboan would be closed except for pharmacies, remittance and money transfer centers, and convenience stores.
Calderon said “sari-sari” stores, gas stations and banks would be allowed to resume operations on July 26, the fourth day of the lockdown.In Santander, Mayor Marites Buscato ordered that all residents must stay at home except for essential travel.
Religious activities, sports and outdoor activities, picnics, as well as drinking of liquor in public were also prohibited in Santander.
Resorts are allowed to operate but their guests will remain inside their premises only.
“They will not be allowed to go swimming on the beaches to avoid crowding,” Buscato said.
Santander, located 137 kilometers south of Cebu City, has 17 active COVID-19 cases as of July 24.
Cebu province has been experiencing another surge in COVID-19 cases in the past days.
From a three-digit daily case record in June, Cebu province has 1,769 active COVID-19 cases as of Saturday.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.