TUGUEGARAO CITY - Due to the discovery of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) community transmission in Batanes, local officials in the island province have imposed "stricter and enhanced restrictions" from Sept. 17 until Oct. 1, a statement posted on the provincial government's Facebook page said Friday.
Gov. Marilou Cayco ordered strict compliance with the minimum health protocols including the wearing of face masks and face shields, proper handwashing, and safe physical distancing.
Villagers were also advised to limit their movements to accessing basic necessities and disaster rehabilitation works.
People aged 15 years old and below and 65 and above, pregnant women and those with comorbidities have been asked to remain at home.
Only authorized persons with a pass are allowed to travel to and from the capital town of Basco. Exempted from the restriction are government workers and those of allowed establishments, with proper identification cards.
Mass gatherings and sports activities are prohibited, and public transport is restricted.
Meanwhile, inter-island travel of motorboats going to Itbayat and Sabtang is allowed only for the transport of basic goods and people in emergency cases.
Establishments offering essential services in the entire province are allowed to operate only from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The restrictions were imposed after the island-province reported its first few cases of local Covid-19 transmission on Thursday. Four residents of Basco with no travel history tested positive for the virus.
Three of the infected have been put in isolation at the Batanes General Hospital while one was quarantined at the Department of Agriculture-Batanes Experiment Station.
The new cases brought to 21 the total caseload of Batanes since the pandemic began in March last year. Seventeen of the patients have recovered. (PNA)