CALAYAN, Cagayan, May 11 (PIA) - - While majority of the towns in mainland Cagayan are alarmed by soaring Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) active cases, the island town of Calayan has sustained its "zero active case" status for nine months.
The town has recorded its two cases in July of last year, who were both Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) from the National Capital Region (NCR).
Mayor Joseph Llopis said since the two cases were recorded in their island, they enforced stiffer measures and protocols to contain the spread of the virus.
"We immediately isolate them and gladly they have recovered immediately. There were also no other individuals infected from the two as we have immediately conducted contact tracing then," the Mayor said.
Since then, he said no one can enter the island without submitting themselves to a five-day quarantine or "holding period" in the mainland before they will depart for Calayan and to go directly to their isolation facility complete another five-day quarantine period.
A negative result of antigen test is also required before boarding the vessel or boat which will be verified by the Philippine Coastguard.
"We never impede any travel to Calayan. We still accepted LSIs, Returning Overseas Filipino Workers(ROFWs), Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) and our constituents who are going out of the island for their necessities," Llopis said.
He also added that when the other towns and provinces in the country relaxed their protocols, they sustained theirs to ensure no "carrier" can enter the island town.
Llopis also said that they need to enforce stiffer protocols because their health facility could not afford to cater to severe and critical COVID19 patients.
"We have doctors here but we don't have referral hospitals. So if there are severe or critical cases, we need to transport them to the referral hospitals in the mainland. So it is very difficult and risky on our part," Llopis added. (BME/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)