ILOILO CITY, Aug. 11 (PIA) - - The National Task Force against COVID-19 has granted the request of the highly-urbanized cities of Iloilo and Bacolod for a moratorium on the repatriation of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs).
Office of the Presidential Assistant for Visayas Asst. Secretary Jonji Gonzales on Monday, August 10, announced in the Laging Handa Network Briefing program hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar that the 14-day moratorium started August 8, 2020.
The moratorium, as contained in the Memorandum Circular No. 3 series of 2020 signed by NTF against COVID-19 Chairperson and National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, also covers the province of Negros Occidental.
Through Resolution No. 28 dated August 7, 2020, the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force - Region VI and Regional Task Force COVID 19 - Region 6 endorsed to the national the request for the 14-day moratorium on flights, sea voyages and all forms of transportation for LSIs, ROFs of the province of Negros Occidental, Bacolod City and Iloilo City.
Gonzales said both cities have also reinforced measures to reduce the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in their respective areas.
Iloilo City and Bacolod City have imposed longer curfew hours from 8 P.M. to 4 A.M.
Mass gatherings and alcoholic drinks are banned and individual aged 55 years old and above were restricted from going out but were allowed to avail of work from home arrangement in Iloilo City, according to Gonzales.
In a post on the official Facebook page of the city government, Mayor Jerry Trenas said additional protocols were put in place to further minimize the possibility of community infection in the city.
The protocols include implementation of lockdown of some call centers and selective lockdowns of some barangays and the terminal market; restrictions on the Iloilo Fishing Port Complex; suspension of the Monday flag ceremony of the city hall employees; and the use of face shields for all city hall frontliners and for all persons who transact business at the City Hall.
Per Department of Health - Center for Health and Development Western Visayas COVID-19 Case Bulletin No. 134, as of August 8, 2020, Iloilo City has recorded 192 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 9 fatalities.
On the other hand, Bacolod City registered 183 cases and 7 deaths.
Gonzales said the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod have recorded 66 and 31 recovered cases, respectively.
He said the island province of Guimaras has also reverted to stricter border and quarantine controls by adopting the enhanced Level 2 Response of the Guimaras COVID-19 Response Initiative.
Effective August 10, 2020, under the enhanced Level 2 Response, only Jordan Wharf, Buenavista Wharf and Ro-Ro Wharf in Jordan are the points of entry from Iloilo City to Guimaras.
Sebaste Wharf in the town of Sibunag, Puyo Wharf in Nueva Valencia and Tacay Wharf in the Municipality of Buenavista are used for delivery of goods and construction materials to prevent the community transmission of the virus in the province.
As of August 8, Guimaras has four COVID-19 confirmed cases with no recorded death. (JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo)