Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri on Friday, May 28, ordered the temporary closure of all tourist destinations and stricter public health rules in the province in the wake of a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in the province and in Northern Mindanao.
The province’s new COVID-19 cases increased by more than 100% – from 89 to 206 cases – from May 25 to May 26, the highest so far in Northern Mindanao in a single day since 2020.
Bukidnon provincial board member Oliver Owen Garcia said the province had 278 COVID-19 cases from April 17 to May 10, before the sudden surge this week. The cases surged by 197.48% from May 11 to May 24, or from 278 to 827, he said.
Zubiri also asked local governments in Bukidnon to impose curfew hours, and ordered a ban on liquor and cockfights, and the closure of recreational establishments.
He tasked all mayors in Bukidnon to strictly enforce the rules set by the capitol.
The Bukidnon capitol urged the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to raise the province’s quarantine status from modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) to GCQ.
Provincial health officer Dr. Gary Guido Tabios Jr. said Bukidnon has seen a sharp increase in active COVID-19 cases this month. Last week alone, its active cases rose from 526 to 739, or 155%.
The situation makes Bukidnon a “high-risk” province, said Vice Governor Rogelio Quiño said. “This is the reason it is proposed that we change the quarantine classification in Bukidnon.”
Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center chief Dr. Miguel Antonio Prantilla said the hospital has run out of space for new COVID-19 patients. He said there were 15 people in BPMC’s waiting list the last time he checked.
The BPMC is the only designated COVID-19 referral hospital in Bukidnon.
Dr. Tabios appealed to Bukidnon residents for cooperation by having “self-discipline, avoid walking around when it is not important, and follow minimum public health protocols.” – Rappler.com