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Despite rising COVID-19 cases in Ormoc… No ‘border closure’, only strict implementation of protocols

ORMOC CITY – This city’s COVID-19 Task Force once again met on Friday, June 4, 2021, to address the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the city, which, according to the city’s Daily Count – Meter, as of June 3, has recorded a total of 131 active cases with 1,139 recoveries and 22 deaths.

Said COVID-19 TF meeting was led by City Mayor Richard I. Gomez together with his Ormoc Development Team and Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez of Leyte 4th District, who presided over the meeting held at the Multipurpose Hall of the new Ormoc city hall.

Mainly, the Task Force tackled if a ‘lockdown’ of the city was again necessary to halt the increase or to decide on keeping the borders open and strictly implement the health protocols called for by several of the city’s ordinances and national laws.

At the end of said two-hour meeting and deliberations, the Task Force agreed that a ‘lockdown’ or the closing of the borders would be its last option.

The body further agreed that getting the QR Codes and checking of body temperatures at the borders and inside business establishments should just be strictly implemented because it has been observed that people were already being complacent. Hence, the city government is set to send notices to establishments to be reminded of this important health procedure.

In addition, Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) are now required to have an RT-PCR test within 72 hours of arriving in the city, especially those from other places who have spent more than 30 days outside Ormoc.

For this reason, all barangay officials were directed to monitor their area of responsibility if there are newcomers or “balik barangay” constituents.

Furthremore, to adopt memorandum circular no. 58-2021, that is, “Intensifying Regulation/Prohibition of Holding of Activities as Source of Virus Super Spreaders”, Mayor Gomez ordered the Ormoc City Police Office (OCPO) led by PCOL Ramil Ramirez to apprehend barangay officials if they cannot monitor and comply with this.

The Task Force also reiterated that people aged 15 years old and under, as well as those aged 65 years old and up, are not permitted to go out/loiter unless they have an important matter or an emergency to attend to; and that everyone should continue to follow health protocols such as wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing, and proper handwashing.

As to the status of the city’s vaccination program, the Task Force shared that 50% of senior citizens have already been vaccinated. Further, whatever was discussed and raised during said COVID-19 Task Force meeting is still subject for further discussion and would probably be included in an Executive Order (EO) to be issued in the following days to come. By Gwen Maurillo

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