Ilocos Norte: 8 towns, 1 city under modified lockdown starting July 23

Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc declared eight municipalities and the city of Batac under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting Friday, July 23, in an effort to quell the sudden increase of COVID-19 cases in the province.

MECQ is the second strictest level of lockdown, based on the basic classifications set by the national task force against COVID-19.

Covered by Manotoc's Executive Order 139-21, issued on Wednesday, July 21, are:

  • Pagudpud
  • Bangui
  • Dumalneg
  • Pasuquin
  • Solsona
  • Dingras
  • Paoay
  • Batac
  • Marcos

Among the restrictions is a curfew and liquor ban in these localities from 9 pm to 4 am.

The governor said the decision was reached after a meeting with the mayors.

The capital city of Laoag, which now has the most number of active cases since the cases started to rise in the province, has been placed under MECQ indefinitely since July 10.

Laoag City has 765 active COVID cases, as of July 21, accounting for nearly half or 47% of the provincial total of 1,624.

But Batac City, Bangui, and Paoay have among the highest number of cases for the past week, when the provincial active cases rose by more than 500.

On July 13, the total active cases in Ilocos Norte was 1,050 with 3,614 recoveries.

On July 21, the total recoveries had increased by 550, and yet the number of active cases still rose by 574.

Deaths related to COVID-19 also rose by 20 during that span, from 83 on July 13 to 103 on July 21. –

(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this report said Laoag City was not included placed under MECQ despite having the most number of cases. It wasn't include in Executive Order 139 because an earlier EO, 132, already placed it under MECQ.)