TACLOBAN City – The Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (RIATF8) and the Regional Task Force on COVID-19 (RTF8) approved the suspension of the arrival of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in Northern Samar for 14 days starting October 20 until November 3.
In Joint Resolution No. 33 issued on October 19, the RIATF and RTF granted the request of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (PIATF), through Governor Edwin Ongchuan, to suspend the arrival of LSIs following the spike in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the province.
It also cited the continuous influx of LSIs and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), which threatens to overwhelm the capacity of quarantine facilities in the province.
It added that the suspension will give way for local government units (LGUs) to address the needs of LSIs and ROFs quarantined in their facilities, and the opportunity to strengthen measures to contain local transmission of COVID-19.
With the suspension of the arrival of LSIs, Northern Samar is placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), while the 23 Poblacion barangays of the capital town of Catarman are placed under a more stringent Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
Northern Samar has a total of 266 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, October 22.
Meanwhile, Maasin City in Southern Leyte has also imposed a moratorium on the acceptance of LSIs from October 20 until November 3.
Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado has placed the city under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), while the rest of the province is on general community quarantine (GCQ).