Butuan lockdown over COVID-19 pushed

The idea to lockdown Butuan was floated by businessman Patrick Anthony Go, who lamented “wanton disregard and non-compliance” by residents to the clear-cut guidelines on the community quarantine imposed in the city. PHOTO/ PIA-Caraga

A local businessman has suggested putting Butuan City on lockdown following what he called “blatant refusal” of residents to heed quarantine measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

Patrick Anthony Go, president of the Caraga Association of Tourism Stakeholders, said the local government should not rule out the idea of a Butuan lockdown as “people are still acting indifferent not seeming to comprehend the imminent danger we are all in.”

“A lockdown now seems necessary. It may help stop the virus in its tracks. Or if not, it will at least slow down its spread,” he said in a Facebook post Monday night.

“It’s gonna be rough, but at this point, it could most likely be the key to save this city,” Go added.

The entire city has been placed under a community quarantine since Thursday as a preventive measure against the “entry and spread” of COVID-19.

Under the quarantine guidelines, the city orders residents to “stay home” except when they need to report to work, buy food and medical supplies, or seek medical consultations.

The quarantine also limited the entry of non-residents into the city and restricted non-essential travel of city residents out of town

Social distancing will also be strictly observed while mass gatherings, whether civic or religious, were prohibited.

The city government canceled all activities related to the celebration of the Balangay Festival to prevent large gatherings which increased the possibility of person to person transmission of the COVID-19.

But Go lamented that many Butuanons recklessly ignored and defied the clear-cut guidelines on the community quarantine imposed in the city.

“Grocery stores and the wet markets are still crowded as if there is no ongoing pandemic. Some public utility vehicles are still filled to capacity totally ignoring the “social distancing” directive. We hear of barkadas still hanging out for drinking sessions,” he said.

Go prodded Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada and council members to rectify this “wanton disregard and non-compliance” by imposing a lockdown on the regional capital “before it’s too late.”

To date, Butuan has recorded 625 persons under monitoring PUMs and five  patients under investigation PUI.

The city, however, remains to be free of the respiratory disease. CLC

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