ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 2 Sepr) – The city government here said it will ask the national COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to escalate the city’s community quarantine status as cases surged the past few weeks with the entry of the feared Delta variant, which now stands at six cases.
The city is presently under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the least restrictive among the quarantine classifications.
As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Iligan’s total active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases rose to 720 as the city tallied 59 new cases for the day, according to Dr. Belinda Lim, manager of the health cluster of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and head of the City Health Office.
On Aug. 2, the EOC reported that the city only had 81 active cases, or almost a nine-fold increase in just one month.
Iligan now has 3,818 total confirmed COVID-19 cases and 271 deaths, with an “alarming” case fatality ratio of 7.1 percent against the national average of only 1.67 percent.
During the local IATF’s public briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic livestreamed on Facebook Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Celso Regencia said he will request the national IATF to step up Iligan’s MGCQ and implement a color coding scheme among barangays to lessen people’s movements.
Regencia noted that when Iligan hit 545 cases last year, it was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), the strictest category. But with the much higher number of active cases now, it is only at MGCQ, he pointed out.
“We may need to change our policies, our protocols and to keep people in their homes if they have nothing important to do outside,” he stressed.
“I have observed that it’s now entire families that get infected. The father, mother, children, even the elderly,” Regencia said.
“I’m alarmed because at City Hall, it appears that only the [City Information Office] has no [COVID-19] cases,” he said. (Bobby Timonera / MindaNews)