GenSan extends MGCQ status until end 2020

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 9 November) – The city government has extended until yearend the ban on non-essential travels and other movement restrictions for residents and local travelers as it continues to grapple with the increasing local transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an executive order (EO) released to the public over the weekend, City Mayor Ronnel Rivera sustained the implementation of the prevailing modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until Dec. 31, the longest quarantine period declared in the area since March.

He said the move was based on the recommendation of the City Inter-agency Task Force (CIATF) for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases and the city’s 26 barangay chairpersons.

The mayor said the strict implementation of the prohibition on non-essential travels to and from the city will continue during the period.

He advised residents to stay inside their respective homes, except for front-liners and essential workers.

“This is to continue the efforts to break the chain of infection to people and limit or contain the spread of the dreaded virus to the city’s constituents,” Rivera said.

He said the use of the electronic quarantine pass will remain in effect and “as much as possible,” only one person per household should go out to buy food, medicine and other items “necessary for survival.”

Under the mayor’s EO No. 52, the other continuing restrictions are the “no movement” every Sunday except for those attending religious activities, curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and the suspension of face-to-face classes in all levels.

The border restriction against non-essential travel will remain in effect, except for persons securing essential supplies and services; reporting for work and attending religious and business-related transactions and activities; those into food and services-related deliveries; and, emergency situations.

Point-to-point public transportation services for major routes from parts of Region 12 are allowed for essential travels, provided they present contact tracing quick response or QR codes.

As additional restriction, the mayor ordered the ban on “group motorcycling, biking and trekking” activities to prevent residents from congregating or gathering in groups.

He said the CIATF received reports that instead of staying home or attending religious services on Sundays, some residents gather and conduct such activities.

These were monitored in Barangays San Jose, Sinawal, Mabuhay, Upper Labay, Olympog and Conel.

“It is alarming because some of them are from other areas outside the city,” Rivera said.

A report released by the City Health Office said the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city since March already reached a total of 923, with 34 related deaths as of Sunday night, but 659 or 71.3 percent have fully recovered so far.

The 230 active patients, mostly with mild symptoms and asymptomatic, are undergoing observation and treatment in seven local hospitals and three barangay and temporary isolation facilities. (MindaNews)