Ilocos Norte town barricades public market

LAOAG CITY – The local government of Vintar, Ilocos Norte has intensified the monitoring of market-goers by barricading the public market compound and manning its entrance. 

Local authorities would not allow entry to market-goers who are not wearing their face masks properly. They are also encouraging the use of face shields.

“We have been alarmed by the sudden spike of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases in Ilocos Norte, particularly in Sarrat. We are aware of its implication if the pandemic is not contained. We are one with all Vintarinians in the call to safeguard and protect our community, yourself and everyone else,” a public advisory posted on the official Facebook page of Vintar Balay Ti Ili said on Friday.

Vintar Mayor Larisa Fronda, in an interview, said the town could not disallow anyone from neighboring Sarrat from peddling their goods in the market since “any person cannot be ascertained to be Covid-19-positive or negative at face value.”

This came as some public markets in Sarrat have temporarily banned the entry of Sarrat vendors who are residing in “critical zones”.

Fronda said the Vintar public market remains open even for non-Vintar residents, provided they obey health and safety protocols being imposed by the government.

Meanwhile, Vintar’s municipal government also announced that they have temporarily barred the entry of returning residents as their quarantine facilities are full, including hotels accredited as isolation facilities by the provincial government of Ilocos Norte.

As of Thursday, 52 returning residents who came from local and international travels were staying in various facilities of the municipality and the province for the mandatory 14-day quarantine. 

“Please do not attempt to enter Ilocos Norte without the go-signal of the LGU (local government unit of) Vintar and the provincial government of Ilocos Norte as you will only be left stranded at the borders,” the municipal government said in a statement.

Vintar residents who are planning to return home have been advised to wait for further announcements and coordinate closely with the LGU to facilitate their entry without any delay once the situation improves.

For more information, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office can be reached through hotline numbers 0995-106-3659 and 0920-100-4310.

With the surge of Covid-19 cases in the province, which now has 80 cases with 47 recoveries and one death, border control authorities stationed at the Badoc gateway, as well as in Pagudpud, Nueva Era Solsona are strictly monitoring the entry of residents or visitors.

“We need everyone’s understanding and cooperation more than ever,” Fronda said, reiterating that local authorities are doing their best to contain the spread of Covid-19. Leilanie Adriano / PNA –