Iligan extends ECQ up to April 30

Vehicles join a long queue at a checkpoint in Dalipuga, Iligan City as “community quarantine” starts Monday (16 March 2020), wherein all incoming passengers from public and private vehicles are required to present valid government-issued IDs and to register, indicating their travel history. Their body temperature will also be taken once the city government gets thermal scanners. MindaNews photo by RICHEL V. UMEL

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 9 April) – Mayor Celso Regencia – upon recommendation of the city’s medical community, the Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 and the academe – has extended on Thursday the enhanced community quarantine until April 30, or 20 days more.

In his Executive Order No. 32, series of 2020, the mayor said he based the extension on the position paper of the Iligan Medical Society, recommendation of the Emergency Operations Center/Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 and the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

Dr. Sukarno D. Tanggol, MSU-IIT chancellor, said the recommendation to extend the ECQ was made by Dr. Franco G. Teves, a biorisk expert who trained in the United States, “to protect the gains made by the city’s overall response to the pandemic.”

Furthermore, Tanggol cited a study led by Dr. Wolfgang Bock, a German scientist who was a visiting professor at MSU-IIT, “that in order for the city of Iligan not to exceed the capacity of its healthcare system, it is crucial to reduce the outer household contacts.”

Dr. Bock, the chancellor added, is consultant to the institute’s MOdeling COronavirus Spread (MOCOS) Team that will run simulations to predict the spread of COVID-19.

Regencia eased up a little on the curfew hours, which is now at 7 p.m. until 5 a.m., from the earlier 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The mayor, in his EO, reiterated that vehicles carrying essential cargoes may be allowed entry to the city and should not be hampered nor delayed, but should observe checkpoint protocols, like disinfection and inspection.

Private and public transportations are still prohibited to enter Iligan, and warned private vehicles “not to put fraudulent signs such as tarpaulins, streamers and the likes, in order to create the appearance that they are delivering essential commodities.”

As in his previous order, Regencia said establishments providing essential goods and services – like public markets and grocery stores, banks, gas stations, telecommunications and power providers –  shall remain open. (Bobby Timonera/MindaNews)