Bicol TF Covid-19 sets full lockdown

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Bicol Interagency Task Force (IATF) Covid-19 has enforced a full lockdown in the Bicol region with the closure of its provincial borders, including its boundary with Quezon province.

Dr. Ernie Vera, DOH-Bicol regional director and Bicol IATF chairperson, in an interview said the task force, in a meeting over the weekend, decided to implement a total lockdown in Bicol due to the exodus of local residents arriving from Metro Manila and other regions.

Vera said the influx of people returning to Bicol has spawned an unprecedented rise in the number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) to over 100,000 as of Mar. 22.

With the declaration of a total lockdown, health authorities manning the Covid-19 checkpoints would be stricter in enforcing the “no entry-no exit” policy to any type of transport vehicle with exemption to people and vehicles delivering agriculture products, medicine, and vital basic commodities into the region but not to exceed 12 hours of stay in any place in the region.

Vera said starting Monday, Mar. 23, the full lockdown would cover all nine major borders connecting Bicol provinces with Metro Manila and Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao regions using the Masbate and Pio Duran Ports, Albay-Camarines Sur borders via the Sagñay-Tiwi boundaries, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes ports, and the Catanduanes-Tabaco City ports. (PNA)