Zambo TFCovid seeks NIATF approval on GCQ

The local Task Force Covid last Saturday approved a resolution recommending to the National IATF to place Zamboanga City under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), a stricter restriction level in order to stop the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases here.

Mayor Beng Climaco has tasked the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), the chief implementer of Task Force Covid to make representations with the National IATF-EID for swift action on the city’s recommendation.

The proposed GCQ imposition is from April 15-30.

This, as the number of active COVID-19 cases leapt to 321 from the previous 283 with additional 38 new cases recorded as of Friday, April 9, 2021. Confirmed COVID-19 cases for Zamboanga City now total 4,611 with 4,093 recoveries and 197 deaths. Recovery rate reduced to 88.87% from the previous 94%.

Pending the decision of the National IATF-EID, the City Government will implement granular lockdowns in areas where COVID-19 cases are high to prevent further transmission.

All existing EOs mandating enhanced restrictive measures will also continue to be in place.

Zamboanga City was first placed under GCQ last May 16 to June 30, 2020 and for the second time last July 16 to August 15, 2020.

City Health officer Dr. Dulce Miravite said the increase in cases can only be stopped by religious compliance of all safety and health protocols and stricter enforcement of COVID-related laws and border controls.

She reminded the public strictly follow minimum health protocols in all engagements and avoid settings and situations that are prone to ‘talsik-laway’ such as singing/shouting, shared/communal eating, being directly across table and lack of barriers, face masks and face shield.

Mayor Climaco said the unabated rise in COVID infection will overwhelm the health care system as it was during the first wave of the pandemic last year.

“We appeal to the public to strictly comply with COVID-19 protocols to prevent the possibility of lockdowns,” she said. “We need to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed or operate in full capacity like in the national capital region and prevent medical frontliners affected by COVID-19.”

The City Government together with the security and health frontliners down to the barangays have been working tirelessly to avert an exponential surge in COVID-19 cases in the city, according to the mayor. “COOPERA CONTRA COVID! Avoid unnecessary travel and social gathering, drinking and eating in public. Wear mask and face shield and frequently sanitize hands,” she added. (Sheila Covarrubias)