Zambo City reverts to MECQ as COVID-19 cases surge

ZAMBOANGA CITY — To prevent a further surge of COVID-19 cases, the local government ordered a return to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for the rest of the month starting Saturday.

Executive Order (EO) 687-2021 said from general community quarantine since July 1, MECQ will be in effect October 16 to 31.

It marked the second time the city was placed under MECQ after May 8 to June 30 this year.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar issued the EO after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the request of the local IATF and the health sector.

Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite, city health officer, said 144 new infections on Friday raised the active cases tally to 2,776.

Of the total active cases, 2,246 infections, or 98.91 percent were acquired through community transmission while 51 percent are asymptomatic.

The rest of the active cases include 20 detainees, eight authorized persons outside residence, one person deprived of liberty, and one Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel.

“Our hospital bed utilization rate is now at 85.9 percent. That is a critical level and our isolation facilities are full,” Miravite said in an interview.

The recovery rate is at 80.71 percent, or 14,975 out of the total 18,552 cases since last year.

From August 11 to October 8, a total of 60 essential workers tested positive during random rapid antigen tests at borders.

Two of the positive cases were found to be infected with the Delta variant.

The death toll stood at 801, also as of Friday, with three new fatalities.