Northbound Philippines News

Ilocos Norte town imposes ‘hard lockdown’ on high-risk villages

LAOAG CITY – The municipal government of San Nicolas in Ilocos Norte has implemented “household hard lockdown” on high-risk villages to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

As of this posting, 22 out of its 24 barangays had been infected with Covid-19, with 78 active cases, 45 recoveries and one death.

When a household is under hard lockdown, all occupants even if they tested negative of Covid-19, are required to undergo quarantine for 14 days if they are considered as “close contacts” of an infected person.

To ensure that residents follow the guidelines, village officials, in cooperation with police authorities, have established checkpoints and barricades in the affected areas, making sure that there shall be no exit of residents unless they are authorized persons outside residence (APOR) or for health emergency purposes.

The San Nicolas government likewise imposed curfew and liquor ban from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. in villages under lockdown.

Town Mayor Alfredo Valdez appealed to his constituents to adhere to the minimum health and safety protocols to win the battle against Covid-19.

For his part, Major Joseph Baltazar, San Nicolas police chief, said Wednesday his men are deployed in various quarantine and isolation areas as well as checkpoints while others are on standby to respond in case of emergency.

Together with the Licensing Division of the San Nicolas government, police authorities are also monitoring established talipapas (temporary markets).

He reiterated that all exposed market vendors who underwent swab testing are not allowed to roam around yet until they have completed quarantine.

“There were some vendors selling in talipapas that were sent home because of their exposure to a confirmed (Covid-19) positive vendor. If they will still insist, we will be forced to issue them a ticket or their market license will be revoked,” said Baltazar.

Governor Matthew M. Manotoc, meanwhile, directed the police to deal with people who refused to submit themselves to swab testing.

“In this time of crisis, we can’t have people refusing to swab,” the governor said. Leilanie Adriano / PNA –

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