By Antonio Manaytay
A Zamboanga Sibugay town has banned the travel to and from Zamboanga del Norte for the next 14 days starting Monday amid increasing confirmed coronavirus positive cases.
In a memorandum sent to all Rural Health Unit staff and COVID Operation Center of Siay town, Dr. Ruhida Sarabi-Saydil said the local health office “temporarily ban all forms of travel bound to and from” Zamboanga del Norte. Sarabi-Saydil is the local health officer.
The order restricts even the movement of Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) and non-APOR going to and coming from the nearby province. It took effect on September 21 and will last for the next 14 days.
The “increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases recorded” in the province has prompted the local health office to impose the ban, said Sarabi-Saydil.
42 confirmed positive cases
Zamboanga Sibugay has recorded two new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 42 as of September 22. Only two are active cases after the 40 patients had recovered from the contagion.
The latest confirmed COVID-19 positive case involved a male Locally Stranded Individual (LSI) from Iligan City who arrived in Ipil on September 5.
He tested positive after a rapid antibody test was conducted on September 14.
Local health officials had transferred him to the town’s Ligtas COVID Center and swabbed on the same date. The result arrived Tuesday, which yielded positive.
The nearby town of Titay recorded its 9th COVID case, also involving an LSI, on September 18.
Titay town lies at the border of Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Norte. Its local government does not impose a travel ban going to and from Zamboanga del Norte.
Sarabi-Saydil further justified the travel ban citing the cases of local transmission in Sibuco town and community transmission in the twin cities of Dapitan and Dipolog.
World Health Organization (WHO) said a local transmission happens when the “source of infection is within the reporting location.” Community transmission, on the other hand, is the “inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases.”
The travel ban covers all transactions, including hospital emergency cases, and “movement of all types of cargoes by land.”
It also prohibits the “delivery of goods within and across areas under any form of community quarantine.”
Sarabi-Saydil said they will impose 14-day quarantine for “all persons coming to and going out” from Zamboanga del Norte.
The ban, she said is temporary. It aims to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the municipality.