3 towns in Agusan Sur placed under MECQ

SAN FRANCISO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 15 October) – The mayors of three towns in Agusan del Sur have placed their areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in a bid to prevent more coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections.

The Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 has approved the move.

San Francisco has been placed under MECQ since Oct. 1, and is awaiting the Provincial IATF’s decision on its plan to impose “zoning containment strategy” in 10 barangays where the number of infections had increased.

Mayor Solomon Rufila said he will strengthen contact-tracing in these barangays which he did not name.

Tricycles are the chief means of public transport in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. The local government has imposed a number coding scheme for these vehicles as an anti-COVID measure. MindaNews file photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

He has also assigned specific days during which residents of a barangay may go to the market, and enforced a number coding scheme for tricycles, the town’s chief means of public transport.

Aside from face masks, residents in areas with local transmission were required to wear face shields in public places.

In Loreto, the MECQ started Oct. 8 and will end Nov. 5.

Mayor Lorife Magadan Otaza has placed the entire Barangay Poblacion under granular lockdown, restricting the movement of residents to essential purposes. The town has 13 active COVID cases and four recoveries.

In Bunawan, Mayor Sylvia Elorde has placed the entire municipality under MECQ for 14 days, from Oct. 15 to Oct. 29. The town has nine active COVID cases and 10 recoveries.

Bayugan City, where the Department of Health-Caraga confirmed a local transmission Wednesday, has not declared an MECQ but has placed two puroks of a barangay under granular lockdown. The city has 11 active cases and 14 recovered cases.

Dr. Kevin Boron, Incident Management Team chief of Bayugan, did not disclose the name of the barangay to prevent panic among the city residents.

But Mayor Kirk Asis issued Executive Order No. 80 series of 2020 mandating all 43 barangays in the city to suspend visits to tourism sites and similar activities.

Agusan del Sur is currently under a modified general community quarantine.

Three residents, one each in San Francisco, Trento and Bayugan City, have died since the onset of local transmission in the fourth week of September.

At least three barangays in San Francisco were placed under granular lockdown after the Municipal Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit spotted the carriers of COVID-19 who may have caused the local transmission of the deadly virus.

The town has a total of 57 confirmed COVID-19 cases of which 32 were active, 24 recoveries and one death. (Chris V. Panganiban/MindaNews)