Baguio reimposes liquor ban, stricter control measures

Baguio reimposes liquor ban, stricter control measures

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong during the flag-raising on Monday announced the reimposition of the liquor ban in the city and the stricter implementation and control of the movement of people.

“Our situation, to be honest with you is quite alarming,” Magalong told city employees during the flag-raising ceremony.

The 30 new cases logged from Friday to Sunday (July 24-26) led to the mayor’s decision to again make border control stricter and allow only essential and necessary travels. Checkpoints are also re-established in the 128 villages to limit residents leaving their houses to essential travels and keep people in their homes.

He said getting in the city will be stricter as it was found that 20 percent of those with frequent travels show a high rate of positivity when tested.

“It is quite alarming,” he said.

The mayor also ordered that “lockdown Sunday” be revived and the closing of the city market for disinfection.

Magalong also ordered that all satellite markets in villages be disinfected twice a week and for all establishments to clean and disinfect their toilets thrice a day.

The mayor also ordered that all bank personnel to undergo swab testing as he announced that he has already asked the private molecular laboratory in the city to reduce their testing fee to PHP3,500, same as what the Philippine Red Cross is charging.

He also reimposed the liquor ban after discovering that some of those who tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) came from a drinking spree and used only one glass.

Magalong said the police have also monitored several gatherings which extended even after the 10 p.m. curfew.

He said the city continues to do the enhanced risk-based testing of various populations and groups of people.

“Three weeks ago, we already saw a surge as early as June when we started the testing of 10 percent of various population,” he said.

The city government received a substantial amount of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing kits, enough to continue the testing of people. Some of the kits were also shared with the nearby province of Benguet.

Aside from swab testing returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and locally stranded individuals (LSIs) with symptoms, Magalong issued an appeal to residents who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to have themselves checked and coordinate with the Barangay Health Emergency Teams (BHERT) for possible testing.

“By testing those who have flu-like symptoms, we are limiting the possibility of transmission,” the mayor said.

The mayor said he already asked help from the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to help in contact tracing.

“We have enough isolation areas in case there are more people who need to be isolated,” he said.

The former Sto. Niño hospital that was converted as a city isolation facility increased its capacity from 45 to 90. Teacher’s Camp used by returning OFWs was also increased from 120 to 300 using funds from the “Bayanihan fund” received by the city government.

Another facility at Tuba, Benguet has also been readied while the city was still under enhanced community quarantine.

Magalong said they are also allowing residents who opt to undergo home quarantine if they have spaces in their houses.

“We cannot let our guards down,” he said.  Liza Agoot /PNA – northboundasia.com