Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Norte revert to MECQ until October 31

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — This city and the province of Zamboanga del Norte will revert to stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting tomorrow until Oct. 31, the local pandemic task force announced yesterday.

The local inter-agency task force against COVID-19 chaired by Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar had earlier approved a resolution recommending the shift to MECQ based on the request of medical workers as COVID referral hospitals are at full capacity.

Zamboanga City and Zamboanga del Norte are currently under general community quarantine.

The local government directed the police, military and members of Barangay Task Force Sita to intensify the campaign against quarantine violators.

Face-to-face classes in 10 island and uphill barangays, which were classified as high-risk, were suspended.

Afdal Kunting of the Zamboanga City Medical Center said 241 patients were admitted in their COVID ward, which has only 222 beds.

Kunting said their emergency room, which can accommodate only 25 patients, has 46 patients waiting for admission and swab test results.

He said there is also shortage in the supply of medical oxygen.

The city health office said the number of active cases climbed to 2,605 with 177 new infections recorded as of Tuesday.

In Zamboanga del Norte, the Department of Health said the number of active cases increased to 2,842.

Meanwhile, Apayao, Kalinga, Batanes, Bulacan, Bataan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Naga City will remain under MECQ until Oct. 31. The areas have been under MECQ since Oct. 1.

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