DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Marc Brian Lim here said the city will not revert to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from its current modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status amid the increasing number of cases for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
In an interview Thursday, Lim said closing the borders of the province to non-essential travels, online registration for locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from outside the region, tracing asymptomatic patients through constant testing, wearing of face masks, among others, are important to contain the spread of the virus.
“We already expect this since the borders have opened especially to those from the National Capital Region (NCR). Most cases recorded were those who had a travel history to NCR (National Capital Region). There must be control over the travel of people from NCR to the province. One of the best ways to do it is to have online registration,” he said.
Lim said borders of the province should be closed to non-essential travels, except for essentials such as food delivery, among others, as businesses will continue within the province or region.
“We close the borders to non-essential travels from outside the province or region, then all local government units should trace, isolate, and treat the asymptomatic patients so that there will be no new cases who have traveled outside the province, and then reassess. If the local transmission is high, then closing the borders doesn’t matter anymore,” he added.
In Dagupan City, Lim said targeted mass testing for its vulnerable sector like the public utility vehicle drivers, market vendors, and front-liners, is regularly done.
“The expense of testing is smaller as compared to closing the economy due to the increased number of Covid-19 cases. To all LGUs, if the budget permits, keep on testing,” he said, adding the city will realign some of its funding for more tests.
Lim also advised the residents to always wear face masks to prevent further spread of the virus as he expressed support for the proposal to penalize violators.
“It should have been done earlier. People should wear a face mask not only because of the penalty but most importantly for their protection,” he said.
The city government and the Department of the Interior and Local Government issued a memorandum for the temporary removal of basketball and volleyball nets to discourage gatherings in the barangays.
The memorandum also holds liable the parents of minors who will violate the quarantine protocols.
As of 6 p.m. of July 22, Dagupan City has a total of 34 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Hilda Austria /PNA – northboundasia.com