Vigan City extends stricter curbs under MECQ due to virus surge | Inquirer News
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Vigan City extends stricter curbs under MECQ due to virus surge

Stricter checkpoints are set up in Ilocos Sur’s capital city of Vigan to limit the movement of residents to essential travel while the city is under modified enhanced community quarantine until Sept. 7. (Photo courtesy of Vigan City government)

LAOAG CITY—The rising number of COVID-19 cases driven by the contagious variants prompted authorities in Vigan, Ilocos Sur to continue enforcing the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

In an executive order Sunday, Aug. 22, Gov. Ryan Luis Singson extended the MECQ status, which was supposed to end Monday. MECQ is the second most restrictive quarantine classification in the country.

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The MECQ extension was due to the soaring number of residents dying due to COVID-19, and the need to contain the spread of variants, according to Vigan Mayor Juan Carlo Medina.

On Aug. 16, Medina said three patients in the capital city contracted the Beta (B.1.351) variant, which was first identified in South Africa.

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Those infected with the more transmissible variants in the city had “no noted exposure or travel histories.” Some of them have “infected almost all of their family or household members,” added Medina.

Cabugao town was also placed on MECQ from Aug. 21 until Sept. 3 due to the rising number of COVID-19 infections.

The province is under GCQ with heightened restrictions, forcing authorities to tighten border controls until Aug. 31. GCQ is the second least restrictive form of quarantine.

Non-essential travelers are barred from entering the province while returning residents are allowed into the borders only for “essential or indispensable travel” purposes.

Strict border controls had been set up in Tagudin, Cervantes, Narvacan, and Sinait towns, Singson said.

Ilocos Sur has also temporarily stopped accepting rapid antigen test results. Essential travelers are instead required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test taken within 72 hours before their travel. INQ

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TAGS: COVID-19, Ilocos Sur, MECQ, modified enhanced community quarantine, Regions, variants, Vigan City
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