NPA told to avoid moving around to prevent acquiring COVID-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Mar) – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte asked the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to avoid moving around in different communities to protect themselves from potentially acquiring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and prevent transmitting the infection to other people.

In an interview during the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) 87.5 on Wednesday, the presidential daughter told the NPA to avoid going from one hinterland barangay to another, particularly along the borders of the city, and other provinces in and outside Davao Region.

“Kinahanglan ta manawagan sa NPA, dili molihok kung asa man sila kung naa man sila sa Bukidnon, Pantukan, dili sila mo latas-latas sa laing lugar para dili pud sila magkasakit, ug dili pud sila makatakod (We need to make an announcement to NPA. Don’t move around and stay wherever you are, whether you are in Bukidnon, Pantukan, avoid going to other places so that you will not get infected, and you don’t infect other people),” she said.

The mayor also urged the residents of the region to avoid unnecessary trips, and just stay inside their homes.

Mayor Duterte was chosen to lead the Davao Region COVID-19 Task Force, created on Tuesday by the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) and Regional Development Council (RDC), which enforces a 14-day suspension of land, sea, and air travels to help contain COVID-19.

The Davao Region will close its borders starting 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.

The task force, comprising various local chief executives and heads of other government agencies, has been formed to synergize the efforts of the region’s five provinces, six cities, and 43 municipalities to contain the COVID-19 infection, the statement read.

The suspension may be reduced to seven days depending upon the “review of Infectious Disease Specialist Consultant.”

It added that residents could still leave the region any time prior to the regional lockdown but warned that they could no longer be granted entry once the borders are closed, at least for the next 14 days.

In Executive Orders 12 and 13 issued following the announcement on the 14-day border closure, Mayor Duterte had ordered the suspension of domestic and international flights effective immediately in pursuance of Presidential Proclamation 922 placing the country “in a state of public health emergency in relation to national security.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)