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Ilocos Norte placed under ‘community quarantine’ due to COVID-19

by Stewart C. Ocampo

Mar. 16, 2020 ...

As part of the Provincial Government’s effort to prevent coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) from entering the province, the entire Ilocos Norte is now placed under a “General Community Quarantine,” through an Executive Order (EO) issued by Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, yesterday.

The EO No. 60-20 is an order placing Ilocos Norte under community quarantine, in compliance to the Proclamation No. 922 by President Rodrigo Duterte, capacitating local government units (LGUs) to contain the spread of the disease as well as mitigate its effect in the community.

“Thankfully, Ilocos Norte remains COVID-free. We do not have any confirmed cases yet but I believe that we have to act as if we have a confirmed COVID case here in Ilocos Norte,” Gov. Marcos Manotoc stated.

Earlier, the Office of the President defined community quarantine as “the movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work, and uniform personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points”.

In connection, the Philippine National Police, together with health personnel were instructed to conduct COVID-19 checkpoints in the gateways of Ilocos Norte; in municipalities of Badoc, Nueva Era, and Pagudpud, to monitor individuals coming in to the province.

Gov. Manotoc once again reminded his constituents of the safety measures against COVID-19, saying, “Everyone is encouraged to stay home. Travels to, from, and within Ilocos Norte is discouraged. All private and public gatherings are postponed or canceled and classes in all levels, both public and private schools in the province remain indefinitely suspended. Likewise, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is banned in public; it must transpire in private residences. Government offices, businesses, organizations, and all non-essential entities are instructed to stop operations or advise their personnel to remain home and work from home.”

Listed in the EO No. 60-20 includes the full activation of “Task Force Salun-at,” which was recently created through EO No. 51-20 to combat the infectious disease; and regulation of borders and ports through EO No. 52-60 which temporarily bans entry and docking of all cruise ships at any ports in the province.

Also incorporated in the order is the identification of quarantine areas; prohibition on hoarding, reselling and price spikes; and the prohibition on the spread of fake news regarding COVID-19, among others.

“The only way we can take care of ourselves is to take care of each other, and the only way we can take care of each other is by taking care of ourselves. Now, more than ever, we depend on each other. After all, we are the ‘Solid North’— as united and as resilient as we have ever been.  Together, we will overcome this,” Gov. Marcos Manotoc ended.