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Bacolod seeks quarantine downgrade

Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - November 29, 2020 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY , Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF has been asked to place this city under a more relaxed modified general community quarantine or MGCQ.

In a letter to Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Bacolod City has met all the criteria to de-escalate its quarantine status.

Leonardia noted that only 258 of the 5,294 confirmed cases in the city are active.

Em Ang, city administrator and executive director of the Emergency Operations Center Task Force, said 31 of their 61 barangays were declared COVID-free on Thursday.

“I hope that this will continue and result in further decline in active cases in the city. We are expecting more barangays to be COVID- free,” Ang said.

Meanwhile, in Pangasinan, the provincial health office said 20 towns and a city now have zero active case.

These are Agno, Anda, Balungao, Bani, Bautista, Bugallon, Calasiao, Infanta, Mabini, Mangatarem, Natividad, Pozorrubio, San Nicolas, San Quintin, Sta. Maria, Sto. Tomas, Urbiztondo, Asingan, Dasol, Villasis and Alaminos City.

In Sual town, Mayor Liseldo Calugay issued an executive order for the temporary closure of Bagbag Beach, known as the little Batanes of Pangasinan, to prevent a surge in cases.

Calugay said the influx of tourists resulted in violations of quarantine protocols and improper waste disposal.

As this developed, the number of COVID-19 cases in Laoag City in Ilocos Norte surged, with 40 recorded in the past two days.

The province’s Task Force Salun-at said most of the new cases are returning residents and overseas Filipino workers.

Laoag accounts for 111 of the 285 confirmed cases in Ilocos Norte. The city reverted to stricter modified enhanced community quarantine on Friday. – Eva Visperas, Raymund Catindig

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