DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) – The entire Davao Region has been placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) anew until July 15 amid an alarming surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte included the provinces of Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte in the MECQ areas.
The City of Davao has been under MECQ since June 5.
As of June 28, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported 670 new cases in the region, bringing the total cases to 41,627, with 10,250 active, 29,985 recoveries, and 1,392 deaths.
Davao City, the epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, reported 24,062 cases, comprising 57.8 percent of the total cases reported in the entire region. Of these cases, the city has 5,255 active cases, 17,670 recoveries, and 867 deaths.
Davao del Norte has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases at 7,942, followed by Davao del Sur with 3,201, Davao de Oro with 3,140, Davao Oriental with 3,201, and Davao Occidental with 598.
Other areas in Mindanao under MECQ are Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte in Zamboanga Peninsula; Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao; and Butuan City, Dinagat Islands, and Surigao del Sur in Caraga
Under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Omnibus Guidelines dated May 20, 2021, persons aged below 18 and above 65, pregnant women, and people with comorbidities, cannot leave their residences, except for obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries.
It added that individual outdoor exercises such as outdoor walks, jogging, or biking are allowed within the general area of their residences.
Gatherings are also prohibited except provision of health, government and humanitarian services. Religious gatherings shall also be allowed up to 10% of venue capacity, and may be increased by the local government up to 30%; while necrological services, wakes and funerals for those who die of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed but limited to family members.
It said that movement around the city is limited to accessing goods and services from permitted establishments, for work in such establishments, or work for such other activities allowed for areas under MECQ. Operations of public transportation will not be hampered but active transportation such as biking is encouraged.
According to the guidelines, establishments not permitted to operate during MECQ include entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas; recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues; amusement parks or theme parks, fairs/peryas, kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides; outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games, or activities; indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools.
Operations of the following establishments are also prohibited: casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except for the draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office; indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits; outdoor tourist attractions; venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions; other personal care services which include make-up salons, medical aesthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, massage therapy including sports therapy establishments, and establishments offering tanning services, body piercings, tattooing and similar services.
It added that beauty salons, barber shops, beauty parlors, and nail spas are allowed at 30% capacity, outdoor dine-in services at 50%, and indoor dine-in services at 10%.
Areas in Mindanao under a less restrictive General Community Quarantine (GCQ) are Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City in Zamboanga Peninsula; Iligan City in Northern Mindanao; General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, and South Cotabato provinces in Soccsksargen; Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, and Agusan del Sur provinces in Caraga; and Cotabato City Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)