25 villages in Agusan Sur under lockdown due to rising COVID cases

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 15 September) – At least 25 villages in four towns and the lone city of this province were placed under granular lockdown due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The mayors of Prosperidad, San Francisco, Rosario and Bunawan towns and Bayugan City issued executive orders imposing the lockdown in puroks (sub-villages) where many households were reported to have more than one member hit by the virus.

A village watchman controls the entry of people into a purok in Brgy. Patin-ay in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur where a granular lockdown is being imposed. Photo courtesy of Prosperidad Municipal Information Office

Food supplies were also distributed but local government units observed different policies in giving assistance.

In Prosperidad, only 92 households with COVID cases in the five puroks of Barangay Patin-ay under lockdown were given food assistance good for 14 days. The package included 10 kilos of rice, eggs, dressed chickens, fish, sardines, noodles and vegetables.

Only the heads of family were given a pass allowing them to go out to buy necessities. If he or she is already an elderly, any able-bodied family member may take his place.

Bayugan has implemented a more stringent policy in at least six villages located mostly in the center of the city. No one, not even authorized persons outside residence or APOR, were allowed outside their homes.

But the local government gave the each affected household 50 kilos of rice, a dressed chicken, eggs, canned goods and vegetables that would last 14 days.

In San Francisco’s 11 barangays that were under lockdown since September 12, residents, except those belonging to households with positive cases, were allowed to go out even as police officers were deployed there to enforce strict safety protocols.

Households with COVID cases were given 15 kilos of rice and canned goods.

In Rosario, Purok 6 in the mining village of Bayugan 3 was placed under clustered granular lockdown since August 28 after barangay officials noted an increase in virus cases.

Punong Barangay Michael Rhay Hambala said in his social media post that affected households would be given food packs daily worth P400. It was not clear what date the lockdown would end.

In Bunawan, 10 puroks in six barangays were placed under granular lockdown since September 3 until September 17.

Affected households were given 10 kilos of rice each, canned goods, noodles and coffee.

Agusan del Sur registered the highest number of infections in Caraga Region from September 7 to 14, according to the Department of Health-Center for Health Development Caraga (DOH-CHD) regional office.

Of the 3,835 cases recorded by DOH-CHD during this period, 1,294 came from Agusan del Sur, 971 from Butuan City, and 533 from Surigao del Sur. (Chris V. Panganiban/MindaNews)