CDO imposes ‘no vax, no entry’ in malls and markets as COVID-19 cases surge

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 15 January) — COVID-19 cases here breached the 100-mark on Friday, prompting officials here to implement a “No Vaccine, No Entry” policy in the city’s malls and markets, and order the removal of basketball rings in the barangays. 

The Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU) of the Department of Health region 10, in its January 14 report, recorded 113 COVID-19 cases in Cagayan de Oro on the day that the national Inter-Agency Task Force raised the status of the city to Alert Level 3.

The last time the city recorded triple-digit infections in a single day was in August last year when the surge in COVID-19 cases overwhelmed the city’s health care system. 

There is no queue outside SM CDO Downtown Premier in Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday, July 17, 2021, a day after the city was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine. In mid-January 2022, the city government implemented a ‘no vaccination, no entry” policy in malls and markets due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Cagayan de Oro is under Alert Leverl 3 from January 14 to 31, 2022. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Dr. Ted Yu, City Health Office medical officer, said the city has been recording only one case per day three weeks before Christmas.

Yu said COVID-19 cases jumped to at least 60 cases a day since Monday, causing a major concern among authorities here.

“This is already very alarming,” Mayor Oscar Moreno said as he directed local agencies to be strict in implementing health protocols..

In a city-wide simultaneous operation last Friday, policemen and barangay officials removed the rings of all community basketball courts to prevent contact sports among residents.

Alert Level 3 does not allow contact sports except for bubble set-ups  with approval from local government units. 

Cagayan de Oro police chief Col. Aaron Mandia said security agencies in shopping malls and markets are instructed to implement the “No Vaccine, No Entry” policy of the local government.

Mandia said police checkpoints are again set up along the streets to ensure a “70-percent passenger capacity” in jeepneys and motorelas.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in Resolution 156-C issued on January 12 placed the city of Cagayan de Oro under Alert Level 3 from January 14 to 31, along with the cities of Davao, Butuan and Cotabato and the province of Agusan del Sur 

IATF Resolution 157-A, issued on January 13, placed  Iligan City and the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental under Alert Level 3 from January 16 until January 31 and under Alert Level 2, the provinces of Camiguin and Lanao del Norte. 

DOH 10 Dr. David Mendoza, Local Health Support Division Chief , said the two-week growth rate in these places jumped to 1,500 percent making the entire region 10 “ a high risk area” for COVID-19 infection. 

“This is a sudden, very steep growth rate. This is the first time we experienced this since the month of August,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza identified Cagayan de Oro; Ozamiz, Opol town in Misamis Oriental; Malaybalay City and the towns of Manolo Fortich and Baungon in Bukidnon as cities and municipalities with high infections.

He said a total of 281 new confirmed cases were reported throughout the region as of January 14. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)