Local governments outside the capital take measures vs Delta variant spread

PEOPLE line up for vaccination on Aug. 2 at the Festive Walk Transport Hub 2 inside the Megaworld Business Park in Iloilo City. — @FESTIVEWALKILOILO

SEVERAL LOCAL governments across the country are taking various measures to prevent a surge in coronavirus cases amid the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant.

In Iloilo City, the regional center of Western Visayas in central Philippines, Mayor Jerry. P. Trenas announced Monday morning that a “stricter lockdown” will be imposed this week to Sunday.

“From Aug. 3 to 8, I will place the city on hard lockdown as protection for everyone here. Aklan and Cebu are both experiencing a surge; their hospitals are full with patients already being confined outside the facility. We don’t want the same scenario in Iloilo City,” he said in a statement.

The city is already under the enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 1 to 7, the second strictest lockdown level.

Non-essential establishments or those not related to food and medicine will be temporarily closed. A total liquor ban that prohibits sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks will be imposed, according to the statement.

All inbound flights and sea travel will be suspended from Aug. 4 to 8, and all travelers will be banned during the five-day period.

In Easter Visayas, the regional Health office is expanding contact tracing to the “third generation level” of the positive patient. It also asked local governments, through the barangay health emergency response teams, to ensure isolation in a facility or home quarantine for second and third generation contacts.

Over the weekend, the regional office confirmed 10 Delta variant cases, which were all “considered to be local cases because there were no recorded travel history outside the region amongst them.”

Zamboanga City, in the southwestern part of the country, has declared a no-movement day during the first three Sundays of the month despite being under the general community quarantine, the most relaxed lockdown level. The city also maintains the requirement of a negative RT-PCR test result for all inbound travelers.

Baguio City, a popular tourist destination in northern Luzon, is banning non-essential travelers “regardless of place of origin” starting July 31.

The local government, in a statement, said this will be in effect “tentatively” for one week. — MSJ