Rizal province under lockdown amid growing number of coronavirus cases
MANILA, Philippines – Rizal province was placed under lockdown starting Monday, April 6, a necessary move amid its “growing number” of coronavirus cases.
Acting Rizal Governor Reynaldo San Juan Jr signed Executive Order 14 on Saturday, April 4.
The EO said that, as of March 29, Rizal had recorded 58 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. It had resulted in 8 deaths. As of April 5, the health department's tracker recorded 105 cases in Rizal.
Cainta has 25 recorded COVID-19 cases, the most among the province’s 8 cities and towns. Antipolo has 17 cases, followed by Taytay with 9.
The Rizal Mayors’ League “unanimously passed a resolution” recommending that the entire province be placed under lockdown. The lockdown began at 8 am Monday and will be in effect “until otherwise lifted.”
“This is to further protect the whole province from entering possible carriers of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the provincial government said in a Facebook post where it announced the lockdown.
Rizal implements its own lockdown on the final week of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte from March 16 to April 12 to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 is still deliberating whether or not to extend the Luzon lockdown.
As of Monday, the COVID-19 cases in the country has soared to 3,660, with 163 deaths, and 73 recoveries, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
Under Rizal’s lockdown rules, non-residents of the province can no longer enter the province except for those exempted by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) including “public and private health workers, emergency frontliners, government workers, diplomats, media personnel, religious ministers as well as employees who are part of the skeletal workforce of various businesses related to basic services and commodities as well as BPO and hotel industry.”
Cargo trucks and vehicles transporting food commodities and farm inputs to designated food lanes are still allowed to go inside and out of the province.
The EO directs the establishment of 24/7 checkpoints to enforce the border restriction, following the guidelines of the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shied).
The EO has strict reminders that “human rights shall be respected and protected at all times in the operations of the checkpoints.” (READ: 'Shoot them dead': Duterte orders troops to kill quarantine violators)
It also reminded all personnel at the checkpoint to observe physical distancing and wear personal protective equipment (PPEs).
The EO also suspended all forms of public transportation, but called on the cities and towns to provide vehicles for medical frontliners and health workers.
An express lane for those who need medical attention as well as for donations for frontliners and hospitals from donors will be set up.
The provincial government called on Rizal’s residents to stay at home as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) had imposed a 24-hour curfew, except for family members with quarantine passes to buy food and other essential commodities. (READ: '24 hour-curfews are unconstitutional and excessive) – Rappler.com