GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 October) – The city government will finally lift its five-month “stay at home Sunday” order for residents starting Oct. 17 as COVID-19 cases in the area continued to decrease in the last two weeks.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said on Friday the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases endorsed the move due to the improving COVID-19 situation here.
He said the CIATF, which assessed the matter in its meeting last week, mainly cited as decreasing active cases and the increasing vaccination coverage for the disease among residents.
“This is the result of the continuing support and cooperation of everyone to our front-liners and the implementation of our COVID-19 measures,” he said in a statement.
The city, which remains under general community quarantine, implemented the “stay at home Sunday” or lockdown and other movement restrictions since May 10 due to the surge of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases.
On Thursday, the City Health Office (CHO) detected 30 new COVID-19 infections, a significant drop from the 70 to 80 daily average in the previous weeks, as the active cases also decreased to 506.
The confirmed cases in the city since last year have reached a total of 13,630, with 503 related deaths and 12,621 recoveries.
The Department of Health-Region 12 said in a report as of Oct. 11 that the city is already considered as a low-risk area based on the two-week COVID-19 case growth rate.
The mayor said the expanded vaccination activities will continue for all residents of the city’s 26 barangays.
CHO already started last week the vaccination for the “rest of the adult population” or those aged 18-years-old and above, regardless of their status.
The inoculation activities are still continuing for those under priority groups A1 (front-line health care workers and their families, and outbound overseas workers), A2 (senior citizens), A3 (persons with comorbidities), A4 (essential workers), and A5 (indigent residents).
A report released by CHO on Thursday said a total of 239,834 vaccine doses have already been administered in the city as of Oct. 10.
Some 106,146 residents are already fully vaccinated while 133,688 are waiting for their second doses.
Despite the promising scenario, Rivera urged residents to remain cautious and continually comply with the health and safety protocols to prevent another surge of COVID-19.
He specifically the strict compliance to the non-pharmaceutical interventions such as the wearing of face masks, observance of safe physical distancing, and practicing proper hygiene.
“Stay home if you don’t have any important transactions outside and get vaccinated if it is already available for you,” he said. (MindaNews)