By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – The regional Inter Agency Task Force-Corona Virus Caraga Shield (IATF-CVCS) announced that Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region has been placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), effective Tuesday, April 7.
The IATF-CVCS started its strict implementation of the “One Shield” Caraga by limiting the movement of individuals, stoppage of public transportation and strengthening all control quarantine checkpoints to avert the entry of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
During the Caraga ECQ, a 24-hour curfew will also be strictly imposed.
The declaration of an ECQ came after governors, mayors and directors of the government’s different line agencies, as well as the top police and military commanders, in the region unanimously approved it, saying that it will add teeth to the security measures already in-place in the region’s five provinces and six cities.
The local officials also arrived at the unanimous decision implementing an ECQ following the confirmation of the region’s first COVID-19 case Monday morning.
On Monday morning, Department of Health Region 13 (DOH-13) Regional Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr. told The Manila Bulletin that Caraga region reported its first COVID-19 positive case.
The patient, a resident of Butuan City, is currently at the Caraga Regional Hospital (CRH) in Surigao City, according to Llacuna.
The decision was reached by the region’s top policymakers after a meeting Monday afternoon, said Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera, who chairs the task force and also heads the Regional Development Council (RDC).
“Gibuhat ni apan dili paglisud-lisod sa mga tawo apan pagproteksyon sa mga tawo” (We made this (ECQ) not to make the life of the people harder but for the protection of the people), said Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera, chairperson of the task force and also head of the Regional Development Council (RDC), Tuesday morning.
“We appeal to all the residents in Caraga to understand and cooperate because this is for the safety of everyone, so please stay at your respective homes,” appealed Corvera.
He said the ECQ will be in place “until revoked”.
“We need your whole hearted cooperation and temporary sacrifices while we are under the enhanced community quarantine,” stressed Corvera.
Under the ECQ, all residents in the region will be required to stay at home.
The movement of people will be limited to only one person with quarantine pass per household. The pass will be issue by the local government unit, and the designated person will only be allowed to go out to buy basic necessities and medicines.
Corvera clarified that there will also be exemptions under the ECQ, particularly those stipulated in the guidelines set by the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19.
Corvera said establishments that will be allowed to operate were also indicated under the guidelines set by the national IATF.