Thursday, April 1, 2021

Zambo tightens anti-Covid measures

  ‘Travellers need to present negative RT-PCR test result’

ZAMBOANGA CITY has further tightened its anti-Covid measures following a sudden spike in actives cases and as part of an effort to prevent the further spread of the deadly respiratory virus, especially with the emergence of new coronavirus variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Philippines. 

There were reports that U.K. Covid-19 variant has now reached Mindanao.

Mayor Beng Climaco, head of the Zamboanga City Task Force Covid-19, has issued Executive Order 643-2021, the new Covid-19 guidelines for travellers which took effect on April 1 and shall run until end of the month unless otherwise lifted, amended or superseded.

Climaco’s order came following the recent meeting of the Zamboanga City Task Force Covid-19, the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Office of the Civil Defense under the Department of National Defense.

The new guidelines now require all travellers whether government people or private citizens bound for Zamboanga City to present their negative RT-PCR test result, including a valid identification, especially those coming from the National Capital Region and other regions, cities or municipalities where there is a surge in Covid-19 cases.

And due to the re-imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region and its neighboring areas, Climaco said Zamboanga City temporarily suspended March 29 all commercial flights until further notice - with the exception of hybrid flights (cargoes and outbound passengers) - to Zamboanga International Airport from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, including connecting flights from Cebu or Davao whose flight origin is from NAIA with passengers enroute to Zamboanga City.

The emergence of a new variants of Covid-19 have health officials and medical experts worried after the sudden spike of the respiratory disease in the National Capital Region, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, especially now that there are no supply of vaccines, but only those donated by China and World Health Organization which is intended for medical frontliners and health workers.

“The City Government is very strict, especially in the entry of people from other parts of the country, and we really require a negative RT-PCR test before they are allowed entry to Zamboanga City. This is our way of protecting Zamboanga City and its people from further spread of Covid-19, let alone its new variants,” Climaco said.

“We would like to appeal to everyone, especially those from outside Zamboanga that it is our mandate and our duty protect our people. That is why, for those who wish to enter Zamboanga City, the Covid-19 safety protocols are required of you and the negative RT-PCR test is the highest priority,” she added.

The mayor said all leisure travel in Zamboanga City is temporarily suspended until the expiration of her executive order. 

“Bien importante y necesita el suporta y cooperacion de todo na pelea contra Covid-19. Compli firmi el minimum health standards y maga reglamento para prevenir la propagacion del coronavirus. The battle against Covid-19 is not just the responsibility of government agencies, but of all sectors and each and every resident or visitor of Zamboanga City,” she said.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, Climaco has maintained the strict enforcement of health protocols and community quarantine guidelines, especially at the borders and in different barangays to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

“The strict enforcement of the regulations and protocols is being done to ensure that Covid-19 will not thrive in the city. All persons should be subject to compliance with the IATF-MEID and local government health protocols for everyone’s safety and protection. No queremos que se enfermen porque al final el gobierno local tiene que cuidarlos,” she said.

“We reiterate the need for public compliance on all safety and health protocols to prevent a spike in Covid cases. The wearing of face mask and face shield, washing hands often with soap and water, or alcohol, and the strict observance of physical distancing remain to be our main defense against Covid-19,” the mayor said. (Zamboanga Post)

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