In Zamboanga City, “No RT-PCR, No Entry” policy reimposed

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 15 January) –  The Task Force COVID-19 here has reimposed the ‘No RT-PCR, No Entry’ policy for all inbound travelers here starting Sunday, January 16, due to a spike in  COVID-19 cases. 

RT-PCR refers to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, the gold standard in COVID-19 testing. 

Zamboanga City recorded 319 COVID-19 cases in the first 12 days of January and has been placed under Alert Level 3 from January 16 to 31 but the task force assured the public there would be “no lockdown.”

In its advisory, the task force also said that the “No Sunday Movement” will continue except for those who are fully vaccinated. 

“All establishments with full-vaccinated employees may re-open to the general public at such capacity allowed by the current Alert Level Status, catering to fully-vaccinated individuals only, who shall present their authentic vaccination cards before they are allowed entry into the establishment.  All other persons are advised to stay indoors and avoid going out.”

Exemptions are those attending masses and other religious worship; personnel of the Disaster and risk reduction management personnel, security frontliners, essential workers such as hospital workers and those going out for emergency purposes; those working in take-out or deliveries for restaurants; and individuals scheduled for vaccination scheduled on a Sunday. 

Zamboanga City Hall. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

The city recorded 233 cases on January 11 but this rose to 319 the next day. 

“As of January 12, there are 88 new cases, and this is the highest so far for this year, bringing the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 22,906 for Zamboanga City” since 2020, according to City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite.

In her appeal delivered in Chavacano, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco said: “Continua usa face mask, frequente lava mano y mantene distancia fisica y man vacuna si turnon ya de ustedes (Continue to use face mask, wash hands frequently, and maintain physical distance, and have yourselves vaccinated when it is your turn).” 

On January 12, Climaco and 1st district Representative Cesar Jimenez Jr. led the unveiling ceremony at the 320-bed mega isolation facility in Talisayan village. The P134.56 million facility was funded by the City Disaster and Risk Reducton Management Office, according to City Information Officer Sheila Covarrubias. (Frencie Carreon / MindaNews)