Cotabato City set to be placed under community quarantine

Published March 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ali Macabalang 

COTABATO CITY – Although this city has remained free of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, it will still reportedly be placed under community quarantine effective Monday, March 16.

Cotabato City hall (Photo via Ali Macabalang / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cotabato City hall (Photo via Ali Macabalang / MANILA BULLETIN)

While city hall has yet to formally issue the guidelines on the declaration, Mayor Cynthia Guiani –Sayadi had already announced her decision to impose the virtual lockdown in the city in an interview last Saturday.

“Ang Cotabato City ay isang open city. Ibig sabihin, maraming pumapasok dito na galing sa ibang lugar… Ang public health ay isang bagay na hindi natin pwedeng isakripisyo (Cotabato City is an open city, which means there are so many who pass through here from other places. Public health is something we cannot sacrifice),” the mayor said in a post she made on her Facebook page.

“COVID-19 free pa din ang Cotabato City at ginagawa natin ito upang manatili tayong ligtas mula sa sakit (Cotabato City is still COVID-19 free that’s why we need to keep it safe from any disease),” she said.

Sayadi reportedly convened an emergency meeting here with officials of concerned agencies and sectors on Sunday to draw up the guidelines on the lockdown.

She made the announcement hours after a COVID-19 patient from Lanao del Sur expired at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro.

The 54-year-old male patient reportedly came from Metro Manila, particularly San Juan City, days before President Duterte placed the metropolis under community quarantine.

This city, which has been implementing curfew from 10 p.m. to dawn for months as a security measure, is the seat of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance.

BARMM is comprised of Lanao del Sur (including Marawi City), Maguindanao, Basilan (including Lamitan City), Sulu and Tawi-Tawi as well as this city and 63 villages in North Cotabato.

As of press time Monday morning, media entities here were expecting the office of the city mayor to release clear-cut guidelines or protocols on the announced city-wide lockdown.