DESPITE having only 20 active Covid-19 cases as of Sept. 3, 2020, the town of Consolacion in northern Cebu has continued its tight border control by not removing the checkpoints.
Mayor Joannes Alegado, in his Executive Order 70 issued on Thursday, Sept. 3, said the Municipal Government shall maintain its “checkpoints in all entry or exit points or strategic points of each component barangay.”
He fears that loosening up the borders would re-escalate the coronavirus infections in the town.
“We’ve learned our lessons not to open up the borders right away,” Alegado said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
He also decided to continue the implementation of quarantine passes to limit public movement.
Commercial establishments allowed to operate under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) must also implement health measures by making sure their clients wear masks and observe social distancing.
Consolacion, a first class municipality, is composed of 21 barangays. It is bordered on the north by Liloan town, on the south by Mandaue City, on the west by Cebu City, and on the east by the Camotes Sea.
A team conducting a checkpoint must be composed of the Philippine National Police personnel, barangay tanods, barangay health officers and traffic enforcers.
All persons passing through checkpoints will be subjected for identification, verification and validation; they will also be subjected to thermal scanning by health personnel.
The executive order of Alegado also specifies the number of passengers for different types of vehicles—sedan, four; pick-up, four; sports utility vehicle, five; asian utility vehicle, five; and van, five.
Consolacion along with the municipality of Minglanilla, and the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay are on MGCQ from Sept. 1 to 30. MGCQ “refers to the transition phase between GCQ (general community quarantine) and the New Normal, when the following temporary measures are relaxed and become less necessary: limiting movement and transportation, the regulation of operating industries, and the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols,” according to the July 16, 2020 amended IATF omnibus guidelines.
In mid-August, military personnel were sent to Consolacion to help town authorities in implementing GCQ measures. Alegado tapped the Armed Forces of the Philippines after having received complaints from barangay captains and tanods that several residents defied the ban on mass gatherings.
No active cases
As of Sept. 3, the municipal government reported that 14 of its 21 barangays had no active cases of coronavirus disease 2019 infections. These were Panoypoy, Panas, Sacsac, Lanipga, Cansaga, Polog, Garing Tilhaong, Tolotolo, Cabangahan, Poblacion Oriental, Poblacion Occidental, Danglag and Pulpogan.
The barangays with active cases are Casili, five; Jugan, five; Tayud, three; Nangka, three; Tugbongan, two; Pitogo, one; Lamac, one.
Also as of Sept. 3, Consolacion had 489 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 437 recoveries and 32 deaths. The town had a recovery rate of 89.36 percent.
Alegado favors targeted testing of employees in private establishments and government offices to ensure that workplaces in Consolacion are free of Covid-19 infections.
During the GCQ status in August, the Department of Health 7 conducted testing to determine the prevalence of Covid-19 cases in Consolacion.
Alegado said the testing targeted 4,000 households. However, only 700 individuals volunteered to participate in the prevalence testing.
The mayor’s mother Vice Mayor Teresa Alegado, in an earlier report, said the municipal government solicited a total of P4 million in government funds from the Office of the President and the DOH for its Covid-19 response. (KAL from ANV)