Guimaras reinstates stricter border control

ILOILO CITY – As cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have risen, the local government of the island province of Guimaras reinstated stricter border control.

“Cases of COVID-19 are rising. We have to act fast. Additional measures are needed to control the transmission or else, our health care system will suffer,” said Governor Samuel Gumarin after issuing a new order.

In Executive Order No. 2021-23, only essential inbound and outbound travels are allowed. This only pertains to those who have authorized jobs, transport of basic commodities and necessities, emergency cases, and medical reasons.

As of May 29, the Department of Health (DOH-6) recorded 106 active COVID-19 cases in Guimaras.

Gumarin’s order also came as COVID-19 cases spiked in Iloilo City, which is a 15-minute boat ride and where many Guimaras residents work. DOH-6 recorded more than 1,380 active cases in Iloilo City.

In the newest policy, Guimaras-Iloilo and vice versa routes can only operate from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Gumarin’s policy also states that returning persons or those visiting who are coming from outside Western Visayas region have to present test results they are negative for COVID-19. Persons who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be denied entry to Guimaras.

Gumarin, a medical doctor by profession, pointed out that the capacity of Guimaras’ facilities is very limited.

It was only last May 18 when the COVID-19 ward opened at Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital (DCGNPH) in the capital town of Jordan.