Tighter curbs still up in 5 north, central Luzon areas | Inquirer News
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Tighter curbs still up in 5 north, central Luzon areas

/ 05:04 AM October 15, 2021

ITBAYAT, BATANES — This northernmost province will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), along with four provinces in the Cordillera and Central Luzon, until the end of October, Malacañang announced on Wednesday.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the island province of Batanes had climbed to 857 after recording 14 new infections on Wednesday.

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Its COVID-19 death toll also rose to four following the death of an 88-year-old resident of Basco town who died while being treated at Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tuguegarao City in mainland Luzon.

But the province’s active infections dropped to 380 on Wednesday after 53 more patients recovered from the viral disease, data from the local task force showed.

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Since Oct. 7, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Batanes was on a downtrend but the provincial government continued to urge Ivatans to comply with minimum health protocols.

Apayao, Kalinga

It was on Sept. 20 when Batanes was placed under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine for two weeks following its first community transmission on Sept. 16. The province then eased to MECQ on Oct. 5.

In the Cordillera, Apayao and Kalinga were also placed under MECQ from Oct. 16 to Oct. 31. These were among the provinces that have the most number of COVID-19 cases in the region since the pandemic struck last year.

As of Tuesday, Apayao logged 7,817 infections while Kalinga had 9,094 cases, trailing behind Baguio City (27,665) and Benguet province (19,459).

Since Oct. 1, the COVID-19 bed capacity in Kalinga remained at a critical risk level, and the “health-care facilities … are overwhelmed [with patients],” said Gov. Ferdinand Tubban in an executive order.

Bulacan, Bataan

The provinces of Bulacan and Bataan in Central Luzon will also remain under MECQ for two weeks, according to Malacañang.

But Bulacan Gov. Daniel Fernando said he would appeal for a less restrictive quarantine classification.

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Fernando said the province’s active cases had already dropped below 1,000 as of Wednesday. The 895 active infections on Wednesday were lower than 1,052 active cases logged the previous day.

It was in August when the province’s active infections peaked at 4,700, local data showed.

In Bataan, the active COVID-19 cases stood at 1,650 out of the 28,120 infections reported since last year. —REPORTS FROM NATHAN ALCANTARA, KIMBERLIE QUITASOL AND CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Bataan, Batanes, Bulacan, Central Luzon, COVID-19, MECQ
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