Two-week Caraga ECQ extension, border restriction pushed

The region’s top health official is pushing for the extension of the quarantine period and ongoing border closure with neighboring regions in line with the government’s strategy to restrict the movement of people and stem the spread of COVID-19 infection. PHOTO/ Ads Prosperidad Firestation

Caraga health director Jose Llacuna Jr. is proposing a two-week extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the region.

Llacuna said he was more inclined to recommend to the Regional Task Force on COVID-19, which is set to meet on Wednesday (April 29) the extension of the quarantine period and ongoing border closure with neighboring Region 11 (Davao region) and Region 10 (Northern Mindanao).

Citing continuing increase in the number of fresh infections and suspected COVID-19 cases, Llacuna stressed it is “too early” downgrading the region’s ECQ to general community quarantine(GCQ).

Although Caraga was classified as a low-risk area qualified for GCQ, Llacuna believed extending an ongoing border closure would seem more prudent course of action to stave off another wave of spread of the disease.

Travel restrictions to and from the region must remain because these were among the main components of the quarantine measures, he said.

On April 1, leaders of the Caraga Region closed ranks and agreed to the “shield Caraga effort” to lock down the entire region in line with the government’s strategy to restrict the movement of people and stem the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Caraga or Region 13 straddles the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands and the cities of Butuan, Cabadbaran, Bayugan, Surigao, Tandag and Bislig.

The entry points into the region are Carmen, Agusan del Norte, from Misamis Oriental; Lingig, Surigao del Sur, from Davao Oriental; Veruela, Agusan del Sur, from Davao del Norte; and Trento, from Davao del Oro province.

Meanwhile, Agusan del Norte Governor Dale Corvera, chair of Caraga Region COVID-19 Task Force said they are awaiting the definitive guidelines on the GCQ or the “new normal” from  the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to be implemented starting May 1.

He appealed to the public to cooperate with the authorities and follow measures put in place to help combat COVID-19 in the region. CLC

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