Siquijor loses Covid-free status

·4 min read

SIQUIJOR Province has lost its status of being the only local government unit (LGU) in Central Visayas to not have a single case of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Two locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who arrived from Metro Manila tested positive for the Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. One is a resident of Lazi town, while the other resides in Larena town.

Gov. Zaldy Villa posted the announcement on Siquijor Province’s official Facebook page at dawn on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020.

“We sadly inform you that a Covid-19-positive has entered our island. This happened despite our best efforts in strictly implementing health protocol,” he said in Bisaya.

Villa, however, clarified that there is no local transmission of the disease in the province yet.

“Our medical frontliners are currently employing the health protocol so the positive cases will be healthy again and to prevent Covid-19 from spreading to other Siquijor residents,” he said in Bisaya.

Villa asked the people of Siquijor to pray for the safety of local frontliners, saying his constituents understand and respect the rights of the affected individuals.

He asked the public to remain calm as the Provincial Government is doing its best to prevent the spread of the disease.

As of Saturday, Aug. 1, Central Visayas had a total of 6,070 active cases, 9,575 recoveries and 851 deaths.

The LGU with the highest recorded number of Covid-19 cases in the region is Cebu City with 2,942 active cases, 5,591 recoveries and 520 deaths.

It is followed by Mandaue City with 968 active cases, 944 recoveries and 67 deaths. Lapu-Lapu City came in next with 762 active cases, 1,023 recoveries and 70 deaths.

In Cebu Province, which has 817 active cases, 928 recoveries and 84 deaths, Consolacion logged the most number of active cases with 207 and 185 total recoveries and 14 deaths. Talisay City came in next with 151 active cases, 547 recoveries and 75 deaths. Minglanilla followed with 140 active cases, 251 recoveries and 16 deaths.

Negros Oriental recorded a total of 47 active cases, 55 recoveries and two deaths. Bohol logged 35 active cases, 51 recoveries and three deaths.

On Saturday, Aug. 1, 124 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in Cebu boarded vessels back to their hometowns.

According to the Cebu Port Authority, 65 were bound for Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental, 23 for Surigao City in Surigao del Norte, 17 for Masbate, 16 for Nasipit in Agusan del Norte and one each for Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte and Tagbilaran City in Bohol.

Sea trips for LSIs resumed on Saturday after Cebu City was placed on general community quarantine (GCQ).

As of 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, 48 LSIs arrived in Cebu from Masbate (14), Nasipit (15), Surigao City (13), Dumaguete City (three) and Tubigon, Bohol (three).

The Department of the Interior and Local Government lifted the travel ban on LSIs going in and out of Cebu City when the city’s quarantine status was downgraded.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, Covid-19 Task Force on Seaports and Coastal Areas chairman, said most of the new arrivals were residents of Barangays Pardo, Mabolo, Budlaan and Apas in Cebu City, while the others were residents of Cebu Province.

He said there were a few transients, but they only stayed a few hours before heading on their way.

With Covid-19 cases on the rise in Metro Manila, Garganera said LSIs coming from there will have to secure a letter of acceptance from their respective barangays in Cebu City.

Barangay officials will inspect the house of the LSI to see if it is suitable for a home quarantine, Garganera said.

The city councilor has proposed marking the pointing fingers of arriving LSIs with inedible ink. He said he already spoke with the Commission on Elections about the matter.

“So that if they go outside, the officials or law enforcers can identify them as individuals who should undergo home quarantine. If they can be seen outside, that’s already a violation,” Garganera said.

With the changing port protocol in other LGUs, Garganera advised LSIs still stuck in Cebu City to closely coordinate with their LGUs. (WBS, JJL)