CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Mar) – Mayor Oscar Moreno announced on Monday the closure of shopping malls, cinemas and other entertainment centers in the city starting Tuesday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Moreno also implemented a nighttime curfew over the city for all residents regardless of all age.
The curfew hours will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a. m. and will take effect Tuesday night.
Moreno signed Executive Order 048 series 2020 Monday afternoon to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the city.
Cagayan de Oro had one fatality—the Philippines’s Patient No. 40 (PH40)—who died Friday night at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC).
Seven persons under investigation remain confined at the NMMC, the government hospital designated to handle COVID-19 cases in Region 10.
Moreno urged residents to leave their homes only for work and urgent errands.
“Stay at home. That is the best remedy against COVID-19. Leave your homes only for work and urgent errands,” Moreno said.
Moreno’s anti-COVID-19 measure will affect more than 3,000 employees working in the shopping malls and entertainment centers that are already empty of shoppers and crowds.
He also ordered the closure of Cagayan de Oro’s “night market” in Cogon where hundreds of farmers and vendors gather every night to sell vegetables and other agricultural crops.
Internet and gaming shops were also ordered close until further notice.
Moreno, however, excluded from the curfew employees working for Business Process Outlets (BPOs), pharmacies, factories, and utilities.
Also included in the curfew exemption are workers of 24/7 convenience stores, stores in or near Carmen or Agora bus terminals, pharmacies and other similar establishments.
The curfew measure exempts health workers, authorized government officials, those traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons and persons transiting to seaports and bus terminals.
Moreno said he could not lock down Cagayan de Oro because it is the regional center of Northern Mindanao.
“We have people coming here to have their dialysis and medical operations. We have people who come here for banks and government offices,” Moreno said.
“Imagine what would happen if we close down the city,” he said.
Moreno said locking down Cagayan de Oro would be “messy and technically impossible.”
He said the purpose of the measure was to lessen the people coming to Cagayan de Oro.
“We have a population of only 700,000 but that doubles to 1,600,000 people every working day. I hope we can cut that number down,” Moreno said. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)