Lanao del Sur, 3 more Mindanao cities under community quarantine

Bobby Lagsa
Lanao del Sur, 3 more Mindanao cities under community quarantine
(UPDATED) The local governments of Valencia, Iligan, and Marawi also place their respective cities under community quarantine to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Valencia City in Bukidnon and Iligan City have been placed under community quarantine beginning Monday, March 16, while Lanao del Sur and Marawi City will start implementing the same measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus starting Tuesday, March 17.

Valencia City Mayor Azucena Huervas issued Executive Order  19, series of 2020,  placing the city under community quarantine from March 16 to 29. 

During this time, the movement of residents would be limited to only essential and work-related trips while uniformed personnel and health or quarantine officials would be deployed to border points.

Huervas said that at the checkpoints, people will be screened  and required to present their identification cards,  address, travel history and shall be checked for symptons of the coronavirus diease COVID-19 following Department of Health (DOH) protocols and guidelines.

There will be no restriction in the movement of cargoes but drivers and workers would be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

During the quarantine period recreation facilities, cockpit arenas, movie theaters, karaoke and bars, amusement parks, and entertainment areas will be closed. Mass gatherings including concerts, sporting events, and fiesta celebration will not be allowed.

Huervas added that participants to essential gatherings are required to observe and exercise prudence and precaution by following DOH guidelines.

“We also asked our residents to do self quarantine, stay in their homes, observe proper hand washing, and good hygiene,” the mayor said.

In Iligan City, Mayor Celso Regencia imposed a city-wide quarantine beginning March 16, citing the recent death of a COVID-19 patient who was hospitalized in the city before he was moved to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro. The quarantine will be in place until lifted by the mayor.

Regencia said that residents must carry IDs when coming in and out of the city while travelers crossing the city will be accompanied by police and other volunteers toward the next exit point of the city.

On March 16, motorists experienced a kilometer-long traffic at the Lugait boundary in Misamis Oriental as well as in Linamon town in Lanao del Norte because of the quarantine.

Lanao del Sur on lockdown

Lanao del Sur and its component city, Marawi, will be under enhanced community quarantine from midnight of March 19 to April 14.

In signing Joint Executive Order 002 on March 18, Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr and Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said that a person under investigation for COVID-19 who died at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City on March 17, was later “verified to be positive of COVID-19.”  At the time of the man’s death, his test results were not yet released.

“This patient had social contact with several people and groups before he was admitted. He was able to visit two barangays of the city and had performed his daily prayers thereat. Also, we was able to attend a seminar in the Madrasah of one of these two barangays. Thus contact tracing is extremely challenging,” JEO-002 said.

The leaders also cited the the “influx of residents coming from areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases.”

Under the joint EO, public congregations and gatherings such as weddings, Dialaga, Kandori, are strictly prohibited. In line with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos memorandum, Jumaat or congregational prayers, Ijtima/Johoor, Multaqa, Madrasah/Toril classes are suspended.

Public and private school classes and activities in all level were also suspended.

No one is allowed to enter or leave Lanao del Norte except for medical workers,  government and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao workers, recognized national and international organizations such as but not limited to the World Health Organization, World Food Program, and the Philippine Red Cross.

Also exempted are Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, government employees who reside in Lanao del Norte but working outside the province.

Movement of cargoes consisting of basic neccessities and commodities, including but not limited to  food, water, medicines and other health supplies within, to, and from the entire province of Lanao del Sur shall be unhampered.

Delivery vehicles are allowed entry and exit provided that they deliver their goods without delay and leave the province immediately after unloading.

Media are allowed to enter and travel around the province provided that they secure identification from the Lanao del Sur-Interagency Task Force (LDS-IATF). Bank vehicles and ambulances are also allowed into the province.

Residents of the province are allowed to travel within the province to access basic neccessities like food, water, medicine, medical supplies, cash. Only two representative per household are allowed to do this.

Supermarkets, public markets, stores, pharmacies, groceries will remain but public mass tranport is suspended, unless allowed by the LDS-IATF. Only two occupants are allowed in a vehicle while motocycles can only carry one person.

Zia Alonto, spokesperson of the Lanao del Sur COVID-19 response team said residents of the province can still go around the province except during the curfew hours or 9 pm to 5 am.

Alonto said that in his public address, the Lanao del Sur governor used “lockdown” instead of “enhanced community quarantine.”

“It is more of the practical reason behind it, because people will not really  understand what is enhanced community quarantine. He (Adiong) uses lockdown – that is more understandable to people because we already had an experience of lockdown during the Marawi siege,” he said.

A curfew was imposed in the province from 9 pm to 5 am starting March 17. 

Mayor Sara Duterte earlier placed Davao City under community quarantine. (READ: Coronavirus Outbreak | MINDANAO: Provinces, cities, towns on lockdown)  – Rappler.com