N. Samar ordinance limits movement of unvaxxed persons

The Northern Samar provincial board has approved an ordinance restricting the movement of unvaccinated individuals in the province.

This is the response of local legislators on the increasing cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and low turn-out of vaccination, the provincial government said in an announcement posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

Committee on Public Order chair board Member Florence Batula and Committee on Health chair board member Mary Ann Abalon authored the ordinance.

The ordinance, which was approved on January 24, prohibits all unvaccinated individuals from leaving their house, except when accessing essential goods or medical and health services.

Unvaccinated individuals are also prohibited from going to restaurants, hotels, malls, sports, and event venues, gyms, and other commercial establishments.

Unvaccinated employees will have to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test every two weeks before they are allowed to return or report to work.

The ordinance also encourages all establishments and offices in the province to display “no vaccination card, no entry” signs.

The ordinance will take effect after the drafting of implementing rules and regulations by the Provincial Legal Office, the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force, and the office of the provincial board secretary.

Data from the Department of Health revealed that Northern Samar is on the bottom in vaccination status as of January 21 with only 284,877 individuals inoculated with the first dose, or just 60.2 percent of the target population.

There are 214,105 fully vaccinated persons in the province or 45.3 percent of the target.

Northern Samar is the first local government unit in Eastern Visayas to pass an ordinance imposing restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated persons.

Before the approval of this ordinance, Governor Edwin Ongchuan had issued a local executive order restricting movements of unvaccinated individuals, which took effect on January 24.

The directive covers not only access to private and public establishments but also prohibits unvaccinated residents from using public transport.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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