Leyte back to GCQ as country’s emerging hotspot for Covid-19

The province of Leyte is now back to general community quarantine (GCQ) as one of the country’s emerging hotspots for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).


In a statement on Thursday, Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said they adopted the recommendation of the national Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), classifying the province under GCQ from July 1 to 15.


“The quarantine period may be shortened or extended depending on appropriate circumstances and subject to the guidelines, continuing evaluation, and assessment by the IATF-EID,” he added.


Under GCQ, movement and travel of all residents in the province are unrestricted, however, health and sanitary protocols must be observed especially in crowded and public places.


The entry of all persons originating outside the province either by land, air, or sea is prohibited except for returning overseas Filipino workers, locally stranded individuals, and Balik Probinsya Balik Pag-asa (BP2) program beneficiaries, who must undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period in their respective local government units upon arrival.


Also exempted from the travel ban are workers in the essential business establishments and industries, health and emergency front-liners, uniformed personnel, those traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons, skeleton workers, accredited construction workers, delivery personnel of cargo vehicles, among others, provided they present their IDs or other required documents.


Public utility vehicles can continue operations, provided they comply with the directive of the Department of Transportation on disinfection and other safety measures.


Business establishments allowed to operate are required to equip their office or store with disinfectant or sanitizer ready for use of its clients.


“They also have the right to reject entry of customers or passengers not wearing a face mask or exhibiting influenza-like symptoms,” Petilla said.


Activities that will remain prohibited are entertainment-related mass gatherings such as in theaters, fiestas, concerts, clubs, trade fairs, carnivals, cultural shows, sports tournaments, among others; business gatherings including conferences, conventions, retreats, and workshops; and religious activities.


The new directive also prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places at all times and imposes strict observance of curfew hours to be implemented by the local government units.


The province was placed under GCQ in mid-March until the end of May and downgraded its quarantine status to modified GCQ until the end of June.


The Department of Health (DOH) tagged Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Ormoc City as emerging hotspots for coronavirus in the country, due to sudden spike of confirmed cases in Eastern Visayas, mostly from these areas, since the start of June.


The health department attributed the significant increase to the testing of returning residents, including locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).


Of the 341 total cases in Leyte — 204 are LSIs, 102 are local cases, 29 are OFWs, three are BP2 beneficiaries, while three new cases are still under validation.


Meanwhile, Eastern Visayas has confirmed a total of 547 cases, including 321 recoveries and three deaths, according to the DOH monitoring report.


Source: Philippines News Agency

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