The Leyte provincial government is optimistic that the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will grant their appeal to downgrade the quarantine status in the province.
From general community quarantine (GCQ), the local government wants the province to be placed under modified GCQ as local officials managed to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
On July 1, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Leyte, Ormoc City, and Southern Leyte would be placed under GCQ for two weeks until July 15.
“We have already sent the documents to the IATF on this request. It was the consensus of all mayors in Leyte when I consulted them,” Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla told reporters on Tuesday.
Petilla added that although Leyte province has the highest number of Covid-19 patients in the region, the situation is still under control, justifying the downgrading of quarantine status.
“Although we have positive cases of Covid-19 here in Leyte, we are able to manage it properly because of good implementation of the protocols by the mayors,” Petilla said.
The governor asked the mayors to regularly submit reports on the Covid-19 situation in their respective places to update the provincial government.
He added that placing the province under MGCQ could help revive Leyte’s economic activities.
As of July 6, the province has 371 Covid-19 cases with about 150 recoveries, the governor said.
Of the 40 towns and one city under the jurisdiction of Leyte province, only eight towns remained free from Covid-9.
These are the towns of San Isidro, Merida, Tunga, Mayorga, MacArthur, Javier, Mahaplag, and Inopacan.
The first Covid-19 case in Leyte was recorded in Burauen town on April 17.
Cases started to surge in the first week of June after the national government eased quarantine protocols in Metro Manila and Cebu City, allowing locally stranded individuals to return to the province.
Also in June, the regional office of the Department of Health confirmed local transmission in La Paz and Hilongos towns after residents tested positive for Covid-19 even without recent travel history nor contact with Covid-19 positive patients.
A resident from Kananga, Leyte is the first Covid-19-related death as confirmed by the health department. (PNA)