Ilocos Norte now placed under community quarantine

LAOAG CITY, March 15 (PIA) – The Provincial Government has placed the entire Province of Ilocos Norte under “community quarantine” due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat, effective on March 15.

Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc has issued Provincial Executive Order (EO) No. 60-20, “An order placing Ilocos Norte under community quarantine”.

In a six-page EO released early Sunday morning, the provincial government imposes community quarantine which is defined as “the movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work, and uniform personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points”.
“The Ilocos Norte remains to be COVID-19 free, thankfully. I believe we have to act as if we do have a confirmed case in our province,” Governor Marcos Manotoc said.

In the exercise of general community quarantine, the Task Force Salun-At will exercise authority over the province and impose orders such as denial of entrance of all individuals entering Ilocos Norte with symptoms of COVID-19, unless they are residents of the province.

Moreover, there is restriction of non-essential entry of people especially persons who are at high risk of being infected such as children, above 60 years old, and those who are immunocompromised or with co-morbidities and pregnant women. However, this exempts health worker, authorized government official, those travelling for medical or humanitarian reason, persons transiting to airport for travel abroad, and persons providing basic services and public utilities, and essential skeletal force.

It is also ordered that travelers going in Ilocos Norte must be checked for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and must undergo: a) clearance to enter issued by competent health authorities; b) endorsement to their home or resident LGUs; c) a 14-day home quarantine, and d) monitoring by the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs).

Returning residents with COVID-19 symptoms will be deemed as Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) and will have themselves for interview, assessment, and fill out a Health Information form.

The Health Information Form requires disclosure of full names, residences, mobile numbers, and other essential information. All entrants will be presenting valid government identification cards.

Persons manifesting symptoms of COVID-10 will be considered as Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs)

Further, all kinds of cruises are denied entry to Ilocos Norte are also ordered, as well as non-essential commercial shipments.

The Bureau of Quarantine will be policing the entry of all people entering the province from the airport and seaport.

Moreover, operators and dispatchers of bus and other public utility vehicles are required to check the temperatures of all their passengers. Operators are required to purchase thermal gun scanners or any other devices that accurately show one’s temperature.

As preventive measures, classes are suspended indefinitely, public gatherings are postponed or cancelled, work from home is highly encouraged for some offices, consumption of beverages is banned in public places.

“We understand that there will be many losses but we assure you that we will be here to assist you in these difficult times. Your health is our priority,” Governor Marcos Manotoc relays this to the public in a video message. (Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco/PIA Ilocos Norte)