Tuguegarao shifts to ECQ for 10 days

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 20) — Tuguegarao City returned to stricter enhanced community quarantine on Wednesday due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, officials announced. The city was previously under modified general community quarantine.

The ECQ declared will be from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday until midnight of January 29, but it can be extended for five more days if necessary, according to an executive order.

Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano said Wednesday he has recommended to the regional inter-agency task force of Cagayan Valley to place their city back to GCQ after logging more than 80 active cases last Saturday. The regional IATF approved his proposal on Tuesday.

“The number of COVID cases in Tuguegarao was manageable for first few days of January. But last January 16, we had 84 [active] cases that changed our decision -- to place tuguegarao under ECQ immediately,” Soriano told CNN Philippines’ New Day.

ECQ guidelines

The mayor noted the ECQ in the city is “different” from the one Luzon had in March last year because of the amended guidelines currently enforced by the national COVID-19 task force.

He said there are establishments that are allowed to operate at a 20% and 50% capacity. But some are fully operational, including hospitals, manufacturers of medical supplies and equipment, security agencies, delivery service providers.

The full list of establishments permitted to operate at limited and full capacity can be found here.

Any person aged below 18 and above 65, those with comordibities, pregnant women, and people living with high-risk groups shall strictly stay at home, except when they need to do essential activities such as buy food and medicine, according to Soriano’s EO posted Tuesday on the Tuguegarao City Information Office’s Facebook post.

Public transportation is suspended and backriding is not allowed. The city is also barring the entry of locally stranded individuals, returning overseas Filipino workers and businessmen. But Soriano said OFWs may enter the city if they make prior coordination with the local government’s command center and follow existing health protocols. Tuguegarao is also imposing a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., but essential workers including health workers, security forces, authorized government officials, and barangay officials are exempted from this policy.

Read the full list of ECQ guidelines here.

As of Tuesday, the Tuguegarao City government recorded 985 COVID-19 cases, 222 of whom are currently ill. Recoveries are at 748 while deaths stand at 15.