IATF extends MECQ in Nueva Vizcaya town
Raymund Catindig (The Philippine Star) - September 16, 2020 - 12:00am

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Philippines — The Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the extension of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya until Sept. 30.

Solano was placed under MECQ from Sept. 1 to 15 after recording the highest number of coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 cases in Nueva Vizcaya. The town accounts for 179 of the 283 confirmed cases in the province as of Monday.

The Solano police station was locked down on Monday after three police officers tested positive for the virus.

Personnel of the provincial police were deployed to serve as augmentation force while the infected police officers and their colleagues who were exposed to them are on quarantine.

At least 1,600 residents, mostly from areas where there the number of COVID-19 cases is high, underwent swab testing over the weekend.

In Bacolod City, which is also under MECQ, Army engineers were deployed to help repair school facilities to be used as quarantine areas.

At least 109 quarantine facilities will be constructed in the city and are expected to be completed before the end of this month.

The construction of the isolation facilities is based on a memorandum of agreement signed by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Central Command chief Lt. Gen. Roberto Ancan, Public Works Undersecretary Emil Sadain and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega.

The Department of Health-Western Visayas regional office said Bacolod logged 2,634 cases as of Monday.

The military had earlier dispatched two teams of doctors, nurses and other health workers to Bacolod.

Baguio tourists

Meanwhile, amid concerns raised by neighboring areas on the easing of quarantine rules with the reopening of Baguio City to local tourists, visitors will be strictly monitored, according to tourism officer Alloysius Mapalo.

Aside from registering online, Mapalo said tourists should have hotel bookings as they will not be allowed to stay with their relatives and friends and should not go out of the city during their visit.

Mapalo advised tourists against making stopovers in Pangasinan, La Union and Benguet ”so as not to distract daily routine in the areas” even as limited stopovers will be allowed in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. – Gilbert Bayoran, Artemio Dumlao

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