Community quarantine extended in Bohol

JC Gotinga
Community quarantine extended in Bohol
The provincial government extends the suspension of sea and air travel in Bohol by 5 days

BOHOL, Philippines – Governor Arthur Yap has extended the community quarantine in Bohol by 5 days or until April 12.

The Bohol community quarantine that began on  March 16 was supposed to end on Friday, March 20. (READ: Governor Yap places Bohol under 5-day quarantine starting March 16)

“The suspension of sea travel and air travel that bring passengers here to Bohol is extended until April 12,” Yap said in a Facebook post in Bisaya. “This does not include cargo. Cargo vessels are still allowed to come to bring our supplies,” he added.

Following the implementation of a curfew in surrounding provinces, Bohol also ordered a province-wide curfew from 9 pm to 5 am.

The curfew seeks to limit the movement of people because they observed people still gathering and loitering in places like parks and staying at internet cafes through the night.

Exempted from the curfew are pharmacies, employees of telecommunications companies, electric and water utilities doing maintenance or emergency repairs, and medical personnel.

Tagbilaran City has its own guidelines to restrict movement including a curfew between  9 pm to 5 am, and the suspension of operations of internet cafes, KTV bars, movie houses, and other entertainment establishments.

The Diocese of Tagbilaran also took masses online to follow the ban on mass gatherings.

In other parts of Bohol, local government units where iconic tourist sites are located have closed to the public the Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen,  the Loboc Tourism Complex (Loboc River Cruise), the Loboc Eco-Adventure Park in Loboc, and the Danao Adventure Park in Danao.

As of Thursday night, the Philippines recorded 217 COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths, and 8 recoveries.

The global death toll, meanwhile, has reached 9,020, with 3,245 of the fatalities in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau). The number of cases worldwide has risen to 217,510, with 80,928 of the infections in China. The virus has spread to at least 157 countries.  

Tourism – a major economic driver in Bohol – has taken a huge hit from the quarantines and lockdowns of neighboring provinces and Metro Manila.

According to data from the Department of Tourism, room occupancy went down by 35% in February compared to the previous year.

In 2019, 322,000 Chinese tourists visited Bohol, making China the province’s top market. South Korea is next at 117,000 tourists and Japan with 32,281 tourists.

There were 7 persons under investigation for novel coronavirus in Bohol, but no confirmed cases as of Thursday.

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.