Davao City restricts travel amid COVID-19 threat

Davao City restricts travel amid COVID-19 threat
This photo taken on February 23, 2020 shows a worker cleaning chairs at the boarding area while arriving passengers disembark at the international airport in Manila.
AFP / Romeo Gacad

MANILA, Philippines — The City Government of Davao barred its residents from going out of the city on Thursday amid the growing threat of the novel coronavirus disease.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the city government imposed the following guidelines:

  • All Davao residents are prohibited from going out of Davao City.
  • All short-term visitors are advised to leave Davao City immediately.
  • All travelers to Davao City are requested to postpone your visit until after the State of Public Health Emergency is lifted.

The city government however clarified that Davao is not on lockdown.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, in an earlier interview with ANC, explained that only the president can declare a lockdown because the support of the Philippine National Police is needed to implement this.

"It's going to be the Department of Health who will make that recommendation to the Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease, and ultimately it will be the president," Malaya added.

FROM PILIPINO STAR NGAYON: Ano ito?: Posibleng 'lockdown' dahil sa COVID-19

Batanes restricts entry of travelers for a month

The Office of the Provincial Governor of Batanes meanwhile will be imposing temporary travel restrictions for a month.

“After careful consideration of the circumstances to the Province of Batanes ad with the recommendation of the COVID-19 Provincial Task Force, it is in the best interest of the province to impose temporary travel restriction,” the executive order released Thursday read.

Acting Provincial Governor Ignacio Villa said that travel to the northern province is restricted from March 16 to April 16 except those who reside, domicile, or is employed in Batanes and its municipalities.

Those who are required to enter the province due to lawful obligations or for public interest, upon the determination of the Provincial Health Officer, is also excluded from the ban, “provided that, such persons must not come from areas with documented local transmission of COVID-19.”

The provincial government said that persons who wish to enter Batanes within the period of travel ban must bring proof of residency, employment or “other lawful purpose of their travel to Batanes.”

They are also urged to bring documents showing recent travel history and medical profiles.

Those allowed entry to the province shall be subjected to the Algorithm Triage of Patients with Possible COVID-19 Infection and other health protocols of the Health Department.

 The local government also discouraged the following residents of Batanes from leaving the province:

  • Senior citizens
  • Sick persons not needing urgent care/immediate referral to higher institutions
  • Those who have lifestyle or non-communicable diseases (hypertension, diabetes, cancer etc.)
  • Pregnant women

Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency on Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases is meeting with President Duterte as of this story's posting. The panel earlier agreed on measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The plan will be brought up for the president's approval. — Kristine Joy Patag





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