Tacloban Gov’t Lays Down GCQ Rules

Tacloban Gov’t Lays Down GCQ Rules


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The city government has issued a directive on the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) measures for October.

In Executive Order 2020-09-040 issued on Wednesday, Mayor Alfred Romualdez underscored the need to continue the observance of health standards for areas under GCQ.

Romualdez issued the order after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases decided to place Tacloban under GCQ.

“Being in a GCQ status will give us some elbow room to move, if we have to adjust now some of our protocols and policies,” he said in a press briefing. “We are in a GCQ status because we are not like other regions with medical facilities spread across their region. Ours are all in Tacloban.”

Romualdez also appealed to those traveling to the city to cooperate and adhere to the protocols and policies imposed by the local government.

Under EO 2020-09-040, the minimum health protocol standards, such as wearing face masks and face shields while riding public transportation and inside establishments, and observing physical distancing, are required to prevent the spread of the virus.

The mandatory use of quick response (QR) codes under the Covid-19 Surveillance, Contact Tracing, Analysis and Networking (SCAN) system will continue for those entering establishments in the city and border control points.

The people’s movements are also limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in offices and industries permitted to operate, while leisure is still prohibited.

The city will also impose a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., except for workers returning from their offices permitted to operate.

The 24-hour curfew stands for those below 21 years old and 60 years old and above, including people identified with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, and other health risks, and pregnant women.

Mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work continue to be prohibited.

Gatherings that are for the provision of critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities will be allowed so long as they adhere to the prescribed minimum health standard.

Religious gatherings are also allowed provided they accommodate only up to 10 percent of the seating capacity.

They will be limited to the conduct of religious worship and services, and must strictly observe minimum public health standards.

Outdoor activities of non-contact sports and other forms of exercise, such as walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, and skateboarding are allowed but people must follow the minimum public health standard, maintain physical distancing, and refrain from sharing equipment.

The EO also limits the number of people who will visit cemeteries to not more than 10 persons per group.

The number of groups allowed at any given time is left to the discretion of the management of the memorial park and cemeteries.

The EO also orders the closure of all cemeteries and memorial parks – both public and private – from October 29 to November 4, as mandated by IATF Resolution 72.

However, burial activities are still allowed to continue.

Personnel of the Tacloban City Police and the Traffic Operations Management Enforcement and Control Office have been tasked to regulate the number of people entering the cemeteries and their compliance with health protocols, including the enforcement of the QR code for proper identification.

Starting October 24, the number of visitors allowed to enter cemeteries will be limited to 50 percent of the established capacity to ensure physical distancing.

A moderate liquor ban is implemented in the city. The consumption of alcoholic drinks in bars, restaurants, and public places is prohibited. Drinking is only allowed inside residences.

Village officials are also enjoined to help implement the EO, especially in enforcing zoning containment strategy.

They are ordered to report social gatherings in their respective places to authorities to ensure the prevention of the spread of the virus.

With the extension of the GCQ status of the city, Romualdez sought everyone’s cooperation to reduce the number of cases in the city and improve the local economy.

As of September 29, the city recorded 762 cases, including 632 recoveries and 11 deaths. (PNA)

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