ILOILO CITY – An entire barangay in world-famous Boracay Island is under two-week lockdown to stem the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
The local government of Malay, Aklan placed Barangay Balabag under Enhanced Community Quarantine status (ECQ) since Maundy Thursday.
“We did not think twice in making this decision. We need to do it to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Frolibar Bautista in a virtual press conference.
“If we cannot contain this, we will have a problem. We all know that we are dependent on the tourists,” added Bautista.
Last March 28, two sitios of Barangay Balabag were placed under surgical lockdown due to COVID-19. Cases spiked in the next two days, leading to the strictest level of lockdown.
As of April 1, the Malay Municipal Health Office recorded 48 active cases in Barangay Balabag.
It was unclear how many hotels and resorts have been affected by the lockdown.
Domestic tourists are allowed but the ban on inbound travel from Metro Manila and neighboring areas has drastically affected Boracay during the Holy Week.
A tourist from Iloilo City noted there were virtually no tourists on the stretch of white beach in Boracay.