CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 05 September) — The entire province of Lanao del Sur with its 33 municipalities and the Islamic City of Marawi will be placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) starting on Monday, September 7 due to an upsurge of COVID-19 infections in the past weeks.
Bangsamoro Member of Parliament Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesperson of the Lanao del Sur Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) said National IATF Chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., had granted the request of Lanao del Sur to go under MECQ from September 7 to September 30.
Adiong said Galvez relayed this to Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong during a consultation held at the headquarters of the Army’s Second Mechanized Brigade in barangay Maria Cristina in Iligan City last Friday.
“The executive order is still being processed but Galvez already directed Gov. Adiong to draw up the quarantine protocols and start implementing them on Monday,” Adiong said.
Under the much stricter MECQ, Adiong said all public transportation are suspended and public gatherings will be strictly prohibited.
He said there would also be compulsory wearing of face shields and masks for authorized persons outside residence (APOR) and for residents who will leave their homes for essential travel such as purchase of food or medicines.
As of September 4, Lanao del Sur focal person Shiela Ganda said there were 144 local transmissions in the province and Marawi City.
“Last Friday alone, we had 17 new cases,” Ganda said.
She said the upsurge of COVID-19 cases has strained the province’s frontline medical staff.
Dr. Alinder Minalang, Lanao del Sur provincial health officer, painted that grim picture to Galvez last Friday.
Minalang recommended that the return of residents from other parts of the country or from overseas be regulated to be by batches after the MECQ, as this has been pointed to as the cause of the surge.
The other area in Mindanao that is under MECQ is neighboring Iligan City. The rest of Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities are under Modified General Community Quarantine. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)