GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) – The city will close down its borders anew to non-essential travel for at least a month starting Saturday, May 1, as it raised alarm over the renewed surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections in the area.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera issued Executive Order (EO) No. 21 on Friday afternoon stating that entry via “intra-zonal” and “extra-zonal” travel or from within and outside Region 12 (Soccsksargen), respectively, whether by land, sea, or air, will be limited to essential purposes effective midnight of May 1.
But, he said all business activities within the city that are allowed under its prevailing modified general community quarantine status will continue.
The confirmed COVID-19 cases in the area since last year have reached a total of 2,451, with 90 related deaths and 2,220 recoveries. Local active cases have reached 141.
Other areas in Region 12 are also experiencing spikes in new infections in the last three weeks, bringing the active cases in the area to 640 as of Thursday night, one of the highest since last year.
Citing a report from the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, Rivera said the COVID-19 occupancy rate in local hospitals already reached 82.8 percent.
“We don’t want to revert to stricter quarantine measures because we want our economy to recover. But we also need to balance and consider the situation of our health systems capacity as well as the status of our medical front-liners,” he said.
Passengers arriving at the city international airport should be fetched by their respective local government units, and no other public and private vehicles will be allowed to cater to them.
All returning residents and travelers will be required to undergo seven-day quarantine upon arrival at the city’s entry points, and they will be properly documented and closely monitored by the barangays.