Ilocos Norte now under community quarantine

All border points going in and out of the province of Ilocos Norte are now installed with Covid-19 checkpoints manned by an inter-agency health task force to check body temperatures and obtain the health record of travelers, if necessary.

All entrants with symptoms attributed to Covid-19 based on their health information shall be denied entry except for residents of the province.

The checkpoints are located at the Badoc gateway separating Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, and in the towns of Pagudpud, Solsona and Nueva Era for Cagayan, Apayao and Abra boundaries.

In a public advisory issued on Sunday, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said he issued Executive Order No. 60-20, placing Ilocos Norte under community quarantine to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“General community quarantine will be observed throughout the province. LGUs shall abide by the directions of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the imposition of general community quarantine in their respective territorial jurisdictions,” Manotoc said in a statement.

Recommended by health officials, a general community quarantine aims to limit the movement of people in order to contain possible Covid-19 cases. Uniformed personnel and quarantine officers are present at border checkpoints to impose the order.

As of this posting, the Barangay Health Emergency Teams in all parts of the province are also moving from house to house to monitor if residents are strictly observing community quarantine.

Meanwhile, classes in all levels were indefinitely suspended for the safety of children. Though there is no confirmed Covid-19 case in the province so far, the governor urged all concerned authorities and residents to cooperate with the government and “act as if there is already a confirmed case of Covid-19 here.”

“Everyone here in the province is encouraged to stay home. All travel to, from and within Ilocos Norte is discouraged. If you must travel, practice social distancing. You must distance from each other at least one meter,” Manotoc said.

While classes are suspended, school officials and administrators are instructed to immediately sanitize and disinfect their classrooms and facilities to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 and no student or pupil shall be allowed to enter the school premises.

Ilocos Norte Schools Division Superintendent Joann Corpuz also advised teachers to employ transmutation in the computation of grades of learners and to utilize available ratings and test results to determine their final grades.

For a parent like Noel Abad, a resident of this city, it is better to become proactive than be sorry. Even before knowing the indefinite suspension of classes from the governor, he said he already instructed his 11-year-old son to stay indoors and minimize mingling with other children, especially those who have flu-like symptoms.

Ilocos Norte has not recorded any positive case of Covid-19 so far and officials hope the province remains free of the virus until it subsides in the rest of the country.

Source: Philippines News Agency