CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi placed the entire city on lockdown starting Tuesday, March 17.
The move came a day after Guiani placed the city on community quarantine.
“I know this is an abrupt move but I am appealing to the public to understand the drastic measures that we are implementing as of the moment,” Guiani said in a statement.
“We are still awaiting for the official statement coming from our health authorities, but as of now, the lockdown is only a precautionary measure.”
During lockdown, residents will not be allowed outside for non-essential travel, and restaurants, bars, and other establishments where people gather will also be closed. There is also a curfew between 8 pm and 5 am.
“Once we can say that it’s safe for our residents to enter and leave Cotabato City, we can open it again at our entry points, but for now, we are locked down,” the mayor said.
While the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) combatting COVID-19 recommended only community quarantine if there were 2 or more confirmed cases in an area, many local government units have already begun locking down their cities and municipalities as a precautionary measure.
Kidapawan City under quarantine
Meanwhile in Kidapawan City, Cotabato, the city was placed under community quarantine on Tuesday, March 17.
Executive Order No. 25 was signed by Mayor Joseph Evangelista and takes effect on Wednesday, March 18, after operational guidelines have been established. Under Kidapawan’s quarantine, residents are asked to stay at home unless necessary. The city may profile residents for travel history and possible exposure to the virus.
Public gatherings are prohibited, and businesses are asked to alter operations to give their employees “flexible arrangements.”
Disinfection points will also be set up across the city and quarantine areas readied in government and school buildings.
According to Kidapawan’s EO, if 2 or more cases are found positive in the city, the mayor would then declare a lockdown.
“In case of lockdown, all means of transportation entering Kidapawan City, whether through public or private vehicle, shall be prohibited, except when the vehicle is used by Kidapawan City residents or when the vehicle is registered under the name of a resident of Kidapawan City,” the clause read. “In the event of a lockdown, non-residents of Kidapawan, even those working in the city, shall be prohibited from entering the same.”
The Philippines has 187 cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday, with 14 deaths and 4 recoveries.
Globally, there are more than 175,000 cases, with over 7,000 deaths across 145 countries. – Rappler.com