69,000 fined, warned for violating quarantine
The figure, recorded from March 17 to 29, included 17,039 repeat offenders, according to Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations.
Miguel De Guzman/File

69,000 fined, warned for violating quarantine

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - March 31, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Over 69,000 people nationwide have been fined or issued warnings for violating the enhanced community quarantine and the curfew being imposed to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Philippine National Police (PNP) said yesterday.

The figure, recorded from March 17 to 29, included 17,039 repeat offenders, according to Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations.

Of the figure, 3,777 were fined for violating the policy and 48,273 others warned not to repeat the offense.

A total of 38,940 curfew violators were listed in Luzon, including 16,988 in Metro Manila.

The remaining 30,000 were recorded in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Eleazar, who heads the joint task force COVID Shield, earlier said the police would no longer arrest curfew violators.

However, the PNP reversed its stance due to the continued rise in the number of offenders and appeals from local government units.

Despite repeated reminders about the dangers of COVID-19, people are defying the government’s directive, Eleazar said.

The enhanced community quarantine was first imposed by the government in Luzon due to the increasing number of COVID cases.

Local governments in the Visayas and Mindanao imposed the same policy to prevent the spread of the virus.

In Zamboanga peninsula, 445 individuals were held for violating the enhanced community quarantine.

Three new confirmed COVID cases were also  recorded, bringing to four the total cases in the region.

In Maguindanao, a police corporal was wounded in an ambush by three curfew violators in Datu Paglas town on Sunday.

Cpl. Yhamier Sablana and his companions were responding to reports about the presence of three men in Barangay Damawato when the suspects waylaid them.

Sablana suffered a bullet wound in the shoulder.

Bataan exec dies of COVID

The city administrator of Balanga in Bataan died of COVID-19 on Friday.

Rudy de Mesa, 57, was admitted in a hospital last week due to fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.

City hall employees said De Mesa had traveled to Manila.

A city hall employee hospitalized on Thursday also tested positive for COVID.

Girl, 5, tests positive

A five-year-old girl became the third confirmed COVID case in Nueva Vizcaya, authorities reported yesterday.

The girl, a resident of Alfonso Castañeda town, is confined at the Premiere General Hospital in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, according to Edwin Galapon, chief of the provincial inter-agency task force on COVID-19.

New hospital for COVID patients

A dormant hospital in Baguio City is being revived for the exclusive use of COVID patients.

The Sto. Niño Hospital in Barangay P. Burgos will be operational by April 14, according to Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

The hospital will be subjected to a third-party certification that it passed the standards before the first COVID patient can be admitted, Magalong said.

Meanwhile, 593 individuals have been arrested for overpricing alcohol and other medical supplies.

A majority of the offenders are listed in Luzon, including 51 in Metro Manila. – With Ric Sapnu, Raymund Catindig, Artemio Dumlao, Roel Pareño, John Unson, Cesar Ramirez, Ding Cervantes, Bebot Sison Jr., Eva Visperas

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