Tuguegarao shifts to 10-day lockdown
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Philippines — This capital city of Cagayan province will be placed again on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the most restrictive form of quarantine, for 10 days starting Thursday to contain the surge in COVID-19 cases, Mayor Jefferson Soriano said.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, Soriano said the new quarantine status of the city had been approved by the regional interagency task force managing the pandemic response, adding that it would be extended to seven more days if an increase in active cases would be observed.
“We have to solve the situation so we cannot do anything other than impose again a stricter quarantine,” the mayor said.
Cagayan Valley region was earlier placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), the second least restrictive quarantine classification, with heightened restrictions.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that the average daily attack rate (Adar) in Tuguegarao was 31.80 percent, the highest in Cagayan Valley. Adar tracks the daily increase or decrease in infections for every 100,000 population.
At least 122 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Tuguegarao on Tuesday alone, raising to 724 its active infections out of 8,843 cases listed since last year. The entire Cagayan province recorded 2,090 active cases as of Tuesday.
According to Soriano, the city has also recorded nine deaths related to the virus from Aug. 6 to Aug. 7 while the province registered 53 deaths in the last 10 days.
He asked residents to stay at home since only essential travels would be allowed in the city under ECQ. A control pass would be issued to front-liners and government workers to regulate the movement of people.
The new quarantine status, he said, also prohibits public transportation and mass gatherings, and imposes a liquor ban and a longer curfew period from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The 200-bed Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC) also reported hitting full capacity, forcing its management to add 50 beds for COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Glenn Mathew Baggao, CVMC hospital chief, said they had to tap 100 more medical workers, including doctors and nurses, as more patients were being admitted to the hospital.
“The trend [in the infections], as we can see, is still increasing so we are getting additional workforce to do the job,” Baggao told the Inquirer.
The government-run CVMC has been treating 163 confirmed COVID-19 patients and 31 suspected cases, mostly from Tuguegarao.
“It is sad to see that people tend to relax after getting vaccinated. It is not a guarantee that you would be spared from the virus [if you get vaccinated], especially that the more contagious Delta variant is already in the region,” Baggao said.
The town of Solano in Nueva Vizcaya recorded the first Delta variant case in the region last month. But health officials said the patient had already recovered from the disease on July 20. Situation in Cebu
In Cebu province, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia placed eight towns and three component cities under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) with heightened restrictions amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the province.
The governor’s order took effect on Wednesday but did not include the duration of the quarantine status.
Areas placed under MECQ are the towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Cordova, Minglanilla, Sibonga, Samboan, Argao and Oslob, as well as the cities of Talisay, Naga and Carcar.
The rest remained under GCQ with heightened restrictions from Aug. 1 to Aug. 15.Mayors’ appeal
In Quezon province, Gov. Danilo Suarez said five mayors were seeking a stricter quarantine for their towns to contain the spread of COVID-19.
He said the mayors of Sariaya, Candelaria, Tiaong, Dolores and San Antonio were requesting that their towns be placed under MECQ amid the threat of the Delta variant.
Quezon is under GCQ with heightened restrictions from Aug. 6 to Aug. 15 but the quarantine status of Lucena City, the provincial capital, has reverted to MECQ until Aug. 15.
—REPORTS FROM VILLAMOR VISAYA JR., DALE G. ISRAEL AND DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.
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