Batanes under ECQ as COVID-19 cases rise

Victor Martin - The Philippine Star
Batanes under ECQ as COVID-19 cases rise
People belonging to A1 to A4 categories queue for a Sinovac vaccine at Bagong Silang Elementary School in Caloocan City on June 9, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines — The island province of Batanes was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

From only one new case recorded as of Aug. 27, the number of active infections rose to 156 yesterday, 100 of them in Basco, 16 in Uyugan, 15 in Mahatao, six each in Sabtang and Itbayat, and four in Ivana.

The Batanes COVID-19 task group said 34 new cases were recorded yesterday.

The province has logged 173 confirmed COVID cases since last year.

At least 100 of the cases were recorded only on Sunday and Monday.

Reports said quarantine and isolation facilities aside from the Batanes General Hospital have reached maximum capacity over the weekend.

All inbound passenger flights were cancelled to allow health workers and other frontliners to address the community transmission in the province.

With the province under the strictest quarantine, movement of persons shall be limited to accessing basic necessities, farming and fishing, essential government work, and businesses and activities related to disaster rehabilitation and COVID operations including vaccination.

The provincial government said the COVID situation is aggravated by the destruction caused by Typhoon Kiko.

Damage to infrastructure, agriculture and other structures in the province due to the typhoon was pegged at P537 million.

Electricity has yet to be restored after strong winds brought by the typhoon toppled electric posts and communication lines.

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