Tacloban City under community quarantine starting March 21
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – Tacloban City will be placed under community quarantine from Saturday, March 21, until April 12 to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.
Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez signed Executive Order 2020-03-017 "Intensifying the Restrictions to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 in Tacloban City" on March 18, as "additional responses and measures" were needed "to control the spread of COVID-19, mitigate its effects and impacts on the community, or curtail/eliminate the threat." (READ: Coronavirus Outbreak | VISAYAS: Provinces, cities, towns on lockdown)
Classes were suspended in all levels in public and private schools until April 12.
The EO prohibited all land, sea, and air travel from and to Tacloban City but the following are exempted:
- Doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel
- People with medical emergencies and one companion
- National government officials and employees, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Coast Guard, and members of the city COVID-19 surveillance team
- Employees of courier services and delivery services, cargo forwarders and logistics companies
- News and media personnel
In emergency cases, the mayor can authorize the entry of people into the city, but they would be subject to screening.
Public transportation within the city will continue but only at half capacity and passengers would have to observe social distancing.
Under the EO, the city government advised residents to stay at home unless they have to leave the house for essential tasks, and required them to wear face masks when they need to go out. Elderly people, pregnant women, children, and persons who have illnesses or compromised immunity should stay indoors.
Businesses were ordered to suspend operations for the duration of the quarantine, except for the following, provided they operate on a skeleton force and their employees should observe social distancing and wear face masks:
- Hospitals, medical facilities, and clinics
- Public and basic utility providers including power providers and water districts, cable TV, telecommunications, newspapers, internet service provides, and radio and TV networks
- Restaurants and other food businesses, but only for take out
- Supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, bakeries, pharmacies, medical supply stores, hardware stores
- Laundy services, water refilling stations, manufacturing and processing plants of non-alcoholic beverages and their distribution operations
- Banks, money remittance centers, payment centers
- Gasoline stations, petroleum, and LPG stores
- Courier services, good delivery services, cargo forwarders, and logistics companies
- Funeral parlors, mortuaries, morgues
Leyte was placed under general community quarantine starting midnight of March 18 to April 17, combat the spread of COVID-19.
As of March 17, Leyte recorded 10 persons under investigation.
Leyte Vice Governor Loreto said the coronavirus outbreak should serve as a "wake up call" for people to have more self-discipline, apparently referring to strict adherence to rules and the health department's advice for personal hygience to combat the new virus.
“We have gone through a lot…. Yolanda, earthquake…. But we have never been in a situation like now, wherein we need to contain within our inner self and we make amend with ourselves also and the only way to survive is to discipline ourselves,” Loreto said.
“I think it’s a wake-up call, I think it’s a reminder for us to bring back the basic fundamentals of decency and cleanliness and I think we can do it if only we go back to the basics,” he added.
There are 202 coronavirus cases in the country as of Wednesday. A total of 17 people have died from COVID-19, while 7 have recovered. – Rappler.com