LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Governor Al Francis Bichara has kept Albay’s borders shut even as the province transitioned into general community quarantine (GCQ) starting Friday, May 1.
Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara ordered the strict “border lockdown” in Albay on the last day of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on Thursday, April 30, to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
“Report any unauthorized entry in our borders. Even under GCQ, the whole province is still on border lockdown,” Bichara said in his directive on Thursday. (EXPLAINER: What happens under general community quarantine?)
He said the provincial government will follow the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases for local governments transitioning from ECQ to GCQ, and urged his constituents to do the same.
“Do not let the virus hit your families. Inform your barangay if you have been in contact with a confirmed positive patient, fully disclose your travel history (if any), and all other important information that may help our team be more accurate in data gathering. It is your obligation to disclose all this information,” the governor said.
“Your identity will not be disclosed as we observe strict confidentiality of information,” he said.
He reminded probable or suspected coronavirus cases who withhold information from local officials that they would not only endanger their families and communities, but would also face legal sanctions.
“On any environment set-up, may it be ECQ or GCQ, if we will not continue to practice transparency, [physical] distancing, proper hygiene, washing of hands, caution among others – the spread of the virus will continue,” the governor stressed.
In Bicol, Albay has the most number of cases, accounting for 33 of the 42 total cases in the region as of Thursday.
The 3 latest cases in Albay announced by the Department of Health Center for Health Development-Bicol on Thursday are an 11-month old baby girl, 1 45-year-old woman, and a health worker.
Of the 33 coronavirus cases in Albay, 23 recovered, 3 died, while 4 were still confined in the hospital.
The Luzon-wide lockdown ended on April 30, but President Rodrigo Duterte extended it for Metro Manila, other parts of Luzon excluding Bicol, among others; and imposed it in some areas in the Visayas and Mindanao from May 1 to 15. (READ: Government changes list of areas under ECQ)– Rappler.com