Ormoc tourist sites closed over COVID-19 cases

Miriam Desacada, Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2021 - 12:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — Alarmed over the continuing rise of COVID cases in Eastern Visayas, Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez has ordered the temporary closure of all tourist sites and prohibited the holding of fiestas and mass gatherings in the city.

Gomez signed on Friday an executive order declaring an 18-day closure, from May 14 to 31, of 16 tourist destinations in the city.

The order also prohibits the holding of processions and fiesta celebrations.

“We see that people are starting to gather and non-residents are coming in and out of the city. This will really increase the number of infections,” Gomez said, citing the city’s 68 cases last Friday from an average of 30 cases in the past few weeks.

Gomez expects the number of cases in the city to increase further with intensified contact tracing and testing.

“We need to take a little precaution. We need to close down our tourist sites to limit the number of people in public spaces,” he said.

Ordered closed were the Ormoc City Museum, Lake Danao Natural Park, Ormoc Mangrove Ecopark and Leyte Alto Peak as well as two more lakes, five waterfalls, a cave and a hot spring.

Gomez said fiesta celebrations in barangays are not allowed as these draw a lot of people and encourage mass gatherings.

Cop dies of COVID-19

A police officer died on Sunday, several days after testing positive for COVID, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported yesterday.

The 39-year-old officer of the Rizal Provincial police was the 61st COVID-related fatality in the PNP.

The officer experienced difficulty in breathing and had fever. He tested positive for the virus on May 10.

He was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and was transferred to a hospital for emergency dialysis.

“On May 16, he suffered difficulty in breathing and was advised to have another session of dialysis, but he died,” the PNP said.

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