Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III announced that the municipal government will go after people who are not wearing face masks outside their residence amid an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
The Pateros municipal government reported that as of Dec. 31, there are 38 active COVID-19 cases in the town including 16 new cases out of 7,992 confirmed cases, 7,847 recoveries and 107 deaths.
Ponce recently said COVID-19 returned to Pateros after the municipality enjoyed being COVID-19 free for nearly three weeks.
“We all know that the number of positive cases continue to rise and almost every day, the increase doubles. From being zero COVID for nearly three weeks, presently, we have 36 active positive cases in Pateros,” said the mayor during a live broadcast on Facebook on Jan. 1.
He said isolation facilities continue to get crowded and the municipal government is spending money to support those who test positive for COVID-19.
Due to threat of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has put the National Capital Region (NCR) under the more restrictive Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to 15 from the current Alert Level 2.
Ponce reminded people to be cautious and observe minimum health standards, saying that, according to experts, the Omicron variant is nearly five times more transmissible compared to the Delta variant.
“The other day, I ordered our law enforcers that we will again apprehend people because we need to strictly implement rules. We will apprehend those who are not wearing face masks or those who are not properly wearing face masks,” he said.
He cautioned parents not to let their kids go out, especially those below 12 years old who are still unvaccinated.
The mayor said people should observe physical distance by thinking that other persons are COVID-19 positive.
The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 14 Omicron variant cases in the country.