Cagayan mayor bucks return to MECQ

Raymund Catindig, Gilbert Bayoran, Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2020 - 12:00am

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Philippines — The mayor of this city has opposed the move of the provincial government to place it under stricter modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ again.

Mayor Jefferson Soriano said they would contest the decision of Gov. Manuel Mamba before the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.

Mamba issued an executive order on the MECQ declaration for 30 days, which started on Friday.

He said this city is classified as ”high-risk” after 61 percent of its barangays logged new coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 cases.

He said 10 new cases daily were recorded in the past five days.The city has 107 active cases as of yesterday.

Tuguegarao City was placed under MECQ in August and October due to a spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Soriano said there is no need to revert to MECQ again after only 18 of the more than 2,000 tested from Nov. 24 to 26 were found infected.

Soriano said local traders could no longer afford another lockdown, especially during the Christmas holidays.

As this developed, the city hall was locked down until Tuesday next week after seven employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Soriano also placed four barangays on zonal lockdown.

New normal

Meanwhile, Abra provincial health officer Maria Cristina Valera-Cabrera said the province is classified as ”new normal” due to a very low rate of infection.

The average daily attack rate or the increase in cases per day was only .03 percent.

Abra logged only one case on Thursday.

It is the first province in the Cordilleras classified as new normal, provincial epidemiology surveillance unit officer Laila Bernal said.

In Bacolod City, Mayor Evelio Leonardia urged his constituents to undergo swab testing for COVID-19.

Leonardia said there is nothing to fear, citing the high negativity rate in the city or the number of individuals with negative results out of the total number who underwent testing.

The city emergency operations center task force recorded an 81 percent negativity rate from Sept. 30 to Dec. 2.

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