MECQ in 2 cities, 24 towns in Ilocos Sur

Eva Visperas - The Philippine Star

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines — Two cities and 24 towns in Ilocos Sur were placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting yesterday until Oct. 21 amid rising number of COVID cases.

Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson issued Executive Order 109, which placed the cities of Vigan and Candon as well as the municipalities of Banayoyo, Bantay, Burgos, Cabugao, Caoayan, Gregorio del Pilar, Magsingal, Narvacan, Quirino, Salcedo, San Emilio, San Ildefonso, San Juan, San Vicente, Santa, Santiago, Sigay, Sinait, Sta. Catalina, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia, Sta. Maria, Sto. Domingo and Suyo under stricter community quarantine.

Ilocos Sur has 32 municipalities and two component cities.

Singson said the threat of COVID-19 in the province remains “very high and alarming,” with 3,740 active cases with extensive contacts recorded as of Sunday.

A total of 3,483 of the active infections are from the 26 areas placed under MECQ.

Aside from limiting the movement of people to access goods and services and work in essential establishments, a ban on travelers from Metro Manila and areas classified as high-risk for COVID cases will be enforced.

On Sept. 30, the national pandemic task force placed the entire province of Ilocos Sur under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until Oct. 31 without prejudice to a reclassification as needed.

In Negros Occidental, mass testing of residents will be conducted starting today, according to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.

Lacson said the cities of La Carlota, Talisay, Silay, Kabankalan and Himamaylan and the towns of Pulupandan, Binalbagan, Toboso, San Enrique and Don Salvador Benedicto are the initial areas identified for mass testing of 7,500 people.

He issued the guidelines on the use of antigen testing kits, expanded contact tracing and early detection measures as active cases in Negros Occidental rose to 4,214 as of Monday. – Gilbert Bayoran

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