The All Saints Day and All Souls Day next month in Surigao City will be different this year after Mayor Ernesto U. Matugas, Jr. ordered the temporary closure of all public and private cemeteries starting October 31 to November 2.
An executive order issued by Matugas on Tuesday said the closure was necessary to prevent a potential rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections, noting the spike in cases in other parts of Caraga Region.
“Among the effective measures to prevent the transmission is strict observance of social distancing,” Matugas said in the directive, a copy of which was obtained by Philippine News Agency on Thursday,
Matugas said that allowing people to crowd in cemeteries to visit their loved ones would negate” all of the efforts and measures of the local government and concerned authorities in preventing the spread of Covid-19″.
However, Matugas said residents can still visit their departed loved ones in cemeteries days before or after this year’s Undas.
In his order, the mayor directed the Philippine National Police (PNP), the General Services Office (GSO), and the Civil Security Unit (CSU) to enforce the temporary closure.
Matugas also requested the barangay officials to deploy their village watchmen to enforce the order.
“Barangay officials shall be held liable for neglect of duty if their constituents are found violating this order,” Matugas said.
As of Sept. 23, the Department of Health in Caraga (DOH-13) said Surigao City has a total of 17 Covid-19 cases with 15 recoveries and two remaining active cases.
The province of Surigao del Norte has a total of 85 cases with 84 recoveries and only one active case during the period, the DOH-13 said. (PNA)