Liquor ban, curfew in Davao City up until year-end
DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — The city government has extended until the end of the year both the liquor ban and the curfew as Mayor Sara Duterte urged residents to enhance their compliance with the minimum health standards after the Delta variant of the new coronavirus disease has been detected here.
In Executive Order No. 37 issued on Aug. 2, Duterte said these measures would “help regulate some activities that can contribute to local transmission” of the coronavirus.
Health officials have confirmed that the three Delta variant cases recently detected in the city spread through local transmission.
“Our protocols and minimum health standards are not changing for whatever variants. The important thing is we are consistent in our compliance [with these policies],” Duterte said on Monday during her regular radio program.
The city government has implemented both policies, with the curfew in effect between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. since November last year when it detected a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has extended the city’s classification of general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions, until the middle of August.
Duterte, however, said that the daily number of cases in the city had slowly decreased since the end of last week.
On Monday night, the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the Davao region had 107 new cases with 71 from the city. This was lower than the average of about 250 daily cases in the region two weeks ago.
Duterte said she would not ask the IATF to place the city under stricter quarantine despite the first reported cases of Delta variant here and in neighboring Tagum City in Davao del Norte province.
She said the city would continue to implement its aggressive testing, contact tracing and surveillance to stop the spread of the disease. “It’s the same virus, so we need to test, trace, isolate or treat if there is a need for hospitalization,” Duterte said.
She added that observing standard health protocols, avoiding mass gatherings, staying at home, and going out only for essentials, on top of getting vaccinated, remained to be the most that a person could do to keep himself safe from COVID-19 and its emerging variants.
The local government would also continue to require people from outside the Davao region to submit, upon entering the city, a negative result of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test done within 72 hours.
Davao City’s first recorded Delta variant case was a 28-year-old woman who, according to the City Health Office, already received two vaccine doses. The woman recovered after completing the required 14-day isolation period.
Dr. Michelle Schlosser, City Government Task Force on COVID-19 focal person, said of the latest two Delta variant cases, one of them got vaccinated for the first dose, while the other had yet to be vaccinated, although both of them have already recovered from the disease.
In Tagum City, Dr. Arnel Florendo, city health officer, said their first Delta case had recovered and that the city was not too keen on elevating their quarantine status to enhanced community quarantine.
“The standard health protocols against the other variants are also as effective in preventing the spread of Delta,” he said. “As long as we are able to contain the situation, there’s no need to panic.”
To hasten the genome sequencing on samples from infected individuals, the DOH and the University of the Philippines Mindanao are discussing the possibility of conducting the process in the latter’s campus in Davao City.
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