By Antonio Manaytay
Zamboanga Sibugay goes for stringent measures to contain the spike of COVID-19 after the province has logged new cases due to local transmission.
Gov. Wilter Palma, in issuing the order, cited the “steady increase of COVID-19 cases in the province attributed to local transmission.”
As of October 16, the provincial Task Force on COVID-19 has recorded 16 new cases in nine days. The total recorded cases rose to 59 from 43 cases on October 7 with one active case.
Some of these new cases were attributed to local transmission.
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In the order, Palma declared a province-wide curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
The new order also suspended temporarily the distribution of modules in schools.
He directed the heads of both public and private schools to “determine possible alternatives in distributing its modules.”
On mass gatherings, the order limits the “number of attendees in every gathering” shall be 50 percent of the seating/ venue capacity.
Palma also ordered stricter measures governing Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs), returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR).
He advised all persons below 21 years old and senior citizens to stay at home. The restriction of movement of persons also covered those who have “immunodeficiency, co-morbidity, or other health risks.”
While the order has temporarily closed entertainment and tourism establishments, it allows hotel and dine-in services to operate at 50 percent of their capacity.
The order, Palma said, takes effect October 15 and shall “remain to be in force until further notice.”
Palma will hold a public address at 4 p.m. Monday, October 19 over radio stations his family operates.
The neighboring provinces of Zamboanga del Sur and Norte have also upped their measures against COVID-19.