Zamboanga Sibugay town back to GCQ; Banaue on lockdown

Raymund Catindig, Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The capital town of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay has been placed under general community quarantine or GCQ for 15 days to prevent a surge in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 cases.

Mayor Anamel Olegardo issued an executive order on the GCQ status on Tuesday, which was approved by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Municipal health officer Adnirle Versom said Ipil recorded 22 cases since Jan. 1.

The rest of the Zamboanga peninsula remain under modified GCQ. The region has a total of 85 active cases.

Zamboanga City has the highest number of active cases in the region at 85. Isabela City in Basilan has the lowest at 13.

Meanwhile, Banaue was placed on lockdown until Sunday to pave the way for contact tracing. The new patients were said to be exposed to several villagers, including local government employees.

Mayor John Raymund Wesley Dulawan expressed concern that asymptomatic patients unknowingly transmit the virus.

Dulawan said three new patients have no travel history or exposure to COVID-19 patients.

A liquor ban, longer curfew hours and ban on social gatherings are in place will be implemented during the lockdown.

Also in Ifugao, 10 Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) personnel in Kiangan town, who returned from their Christmas break, tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.

The municipal health office said the BJMP personnel spent their holidays in Asipulo town, Baguio City, Mountain Province and Isabela and were quarantined upon their arrival on Dec. 30.

The patients were exposed to an inmate who underwent swab testing prior to his transfer to the national penitentiary and later tested positive for the virus.

Inmates at the Kiangan district jail will undergo swab tests.

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