Naga placed on weekend ECQ
By Jason B. Neola
The Naga City government has declared 25 of the 27 barangays in the city under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) during weekends and those with clustered community transmission under granular lockdown.
Executive Order (EO) No. 2021-026 issued by Mayor Nelson S. Legacion on Tuesday, Sept. 21, states that the severity of Covid-19 cases in the city has turned for the worse with many more patients requiring oxygen support resulting in a very high utilization rate of Covid-19 beds in public and private hospitals, as well as oxygen-supported mild to moderate cases in the quarantine and isolation facilities of the city government.
Renne Gumba, Health Emergency Response Task Force (HERTF) co-chairman, said the drastic intervention is being pursued after they have observed that Covid-19 cases were in upward trend despite the implementation of general community quarantine with heightened restrictions in the city for more than a month now.
Gumba said the HERTF recommended the implementation of the periodic or weekend ECQ as one of the major interventions to restrict movement of people that is seen to lessen Covid-19 transmission. It is also believed to lessen the number of people from neighboring towns and areas entering the city to engage in non-essential activities during weekends.
Except for the two barangays of Panicuason and Bagumbayan Norte where cases of Covid-19 are low, the rest of the 27 barangays in the city are covered by the weekend lockdown.
MAYOR Nelson Legacion (center) briefs newsmen on the planned enforcement of weekend ECQ and granular lockdown in Naga City. Photo also shows (from left to right) Col. Marlon Catan, Naga City Police Office City Director; Public Safety Officer Renne Gumba, MNCCI Pres. Armando Aman and ex-officio City Councilor Antonio Beltran. JBN/Paulo Papa/CEPPIO
Legacion said the weekend ECQ will take effect at 9:00 PM every Friday and will end at 4:00 AM on the following Monday. During this period, the covered barangays will be subject to the restrictions imposed by the national inter-agency task force (IATF) for areas under ECQ.
The first weekend ECQ will start at 9:00 PM on Friday, Sept. 24. At the end of each weekend ECQ, the covered barangays will revert back to the community quarantine classification imposed on the city by the national IATF.
“It [weekend ECQ] shall remain in force until a considerable improvement in the city’s campaign against Covid-19 transmission is realized based on the metrics of the HERTF and DOH,” Legacion said.
The EO adopted as its part the restrictions imposed by the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, which shall be the governing rule during the weekend ECQ.
Persons 18 to 65 years old will be allowed to go out of their houses only when they have to access essential goods and services from permitted establishments, for work in such establishments, and for the performance of health and emergency services with no age restrictions for availing the same.
To further mitigate community transmission, Legacion further ordered the imposition of a 14-day granular lockdown in areas defined and recommended by the HERTF to have clustered cases of Covid-19 following the criteria set by the HERTF Analytics Team.
No one, including Authorized Persons Outside Residences (APOR), shall be allowed to move within, into, and out of the area under granular lockdown except:
1. Health Care Workers, and non-health personnel working in hospitals, laboratories, and dialysis facilities;
2. Uniformed personnel and barangay tanods tasked to enforce the granular lockdown;
3. Overseas Filipino Workers bound for international travel, and those returning to their respective residences after having completed facility-based quarantine upon arrival;
4. Individuals whose home or residence are located within an area under granular lockdown may enter the said area for the sole purpose of returning to their respective homes or residences but must thereafter remain therein for the duration of the granular lockdown;
5. Individuals under exceptional circumstances such as, but not limited to, those seeking urgent medical attention as validated by the Punong Barangay; and
6. Food and essential items that are intended for delivery within an area under granular lockdown provided that they can only be unloaded at border collection points designated by the LGU.
People in areas under granular lockdown will not be permitted to leave quarantined premises for 14-days including authorized persons outside of residence and medical frontliners.
These measures are adopted to prevent and limit the spread of Covid-19 in the city. Naga City recorded 690 cases in a span of 10 days – or an average of 60 cases every day – from Sept. 10 to 19, this year.
Business leaders in the city have met with Legacion and the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to discuss possible means to cushion any negative repercussions the weekend ECQ may bring to the local economy.
In a brief meeting with Legacion, Engr. Armando Aman, president of Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other business leaders in the city assured Legacion of their support, saying that the action is a welcome development that deserves to be supported.
Violation of the EO shall be deemed as non-cooperation of the person or entities affected by a notifiable disease or a health event of public health concern subject to prosecution under RA 11332, or under applicable ordinances.