Capiz Governor Esteban Evan Contreras urged the Capisnons to avoid going to Passi City, Iloilo after the locality declared a 15-day lockdown following the surge of coronavirus cases there.
Passi posted more than 100 cases in one day on January 27, the highest recorded cases in 24 hours, Mayor Stephen Palmares said.
The city will be placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) starting 6 a.m. of January 28 until 12 midnight of February 11, he said in a press statement.
With this, checkpoints at the entry and exit points of Passi have already been installed, restricting entry only to residents of Passi and for essential cargo and personnel, Contreras said in an advisory issued on January 28.
Non-residents are allowed to pass through Passi on their way to other destinations as long as they do not stop, transport, take on, or deliver passengers at any point with the city including passenger buses and other public transportation, the governor said.
“To protect the citizens of Capiz, a border checkpoint at the Dumarao boundary shall be installed for the duration,” he said.
Contreras urged the Capisnons to limit their movement and travel to essential tasks only. “Unless absolutely necessary, avoid going to or passing through Passi,” he said.
Residents were also urged to avoid going to the Passi public market and other public places in Passi, the governor said.
“When passing through Passi in a private vehicle, do not stop or get off at any point inside the city, do not pick deliver any passengers within the said area, ensure your vehicle has adequate ventilation at all times and that the driver and all passengers are wearing face mask and face shields properly,” he said.
He added, “if you are in a passenger bus or any form of public transportation, wear your face mask and face shield properly at all times while in the vehicle, practice physical distancing by seating yourself at least one seat away from all persons and carry alcohol with you and wash your hands every time you touch something.”
The surge of COVID-19 cases in Passi was due to the mass testing the city government conducted every day, Palmares said.
On January 26, more than 600 public market vendors were swabbed for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
“I am asking for everybody’s cooperation and understanding. I know this decision of placing the entire city under ECQ is not favorable to some, however, this decision is the result of our meeting and we need to strictly implement guidelines in our city so that the cases of COVID-19 will not increase anymore,” the mayor said.*Passi LGU photo