Laoag back to MECQ

Raymond Catindig (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2020 - 12:00am

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Philippines — Citing a spike in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 cases, Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Manotoc placed Laoag City under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) again starting today.

“Based on medical data and existing DOH (Department of Health) guidelines, a localized MECQ will commence in Laoag City on Nov. 27 until we contain the spike in cases,” Manotoc said.

The provincial government said the guidelines for stricter community quarantine would be submitted for concurrence by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.

“I am not happy that we are implementing the MECQ, but we are compelled by the spread of COVID-19... We have no choice,” Laoag City Mayor Michael Keon said.

Keon said mass testing would be implemented during the lockdown.

The city health office said 48 of the  85 confirmed COVID cases in Laoag are active.

Keon said non-residents would not be allowed entry into the city as the police sealed theirs border with Bacarra, Sarrat and San Nicolas towns.

The public market would be closed for three days for disinfection after three fish vendors contracted the virus.

On Wednesday, seven provincial government employees, five of them jail personnel, tested positive for COVID-19.

Volunteers, evacuees infected

Meanwhile, four volunteers from Quirino province who helped in relief and rescue missions for typhoon victims in this city last week tested positive for the virus yesterday.

The Quirino provincial health office said the patients are residents of Aglipay, Diffun and Cabarrogui towns.

The four are asymptomatic and underwent swab testing upon their return to Quirino.

Authorities said eight flood evacuees in this city and 11 in Cauayan City in Isabela also contracted the virus.

The patients underwent swab testing on Monday and Tuesday.

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