ILOILO CITY – Eleven towns merged their respective initiatives on Sunday to keep the northern part of Iloilo province free from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a phone interview Monday, Ajuy mayor Jett Rojas said the 11 towns created the Northern Iloilo Alliance for Development (NIAD) Covid-19 Task Force to oversee all the efforts against the disease.
Rojas said no resident from northern Iloilo has tested positive for Covid-19, as per the data of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) on Sunday.
Northern Iloilo towns include Ajuy, Balasan, Barotac Viejo, Batad, Carles, Concepcion, Estancia, Lemery, San Dionisio, San Rafael and Sara.
“We need to implement the enhanced community quarantine so what we did is, we harmonize all our efforts, our programs. We shared our strategies to keep our towns free from the disease,” he said.
Among those agreed by the mayors is the strengthening of its borders that connect the northern Iloilo to Capiz province through Balasan town.
The control points in Barotac Viejo and San Rafael will also be tightly guarded from other towns outside the northern Iloilo.
The three control points in the north will be strengthened through augmenting personnel and ensuring that the points are guarded 24/7.
“There will be proper disinfecting protocols in our control points. Likewise, we will advise our villages to be strict in guarding their borders,” he said.
Aside from this, the 11 local chief executives also agreed to allot every Sunday of the week to simultaneously implement the stay-at-home measure.
This means that every Sunday starting April 12, no resident in the 11 towns will be seen outside their houses except for emergency purposes.
All business establishments, except pharmacies, will also be closed on Sundays, he said.
Although the enhanced community quarantine is strictly followed in these towns, Rojas said it is important to further minimize locals’ movement for a day.
“We concur to announce to our villages to encourage that no one will be seen outside for a day. This will start on Sunday, April 12, so that we will strengthen further the enhanced community quarantine being implemented,” he said.
Rojas said they also agreed to financially help the Sara District Hospital, being one of the hospitals identified by the government to handle persons under investigation (PUI) with mild symptoms.
He said the local chief executives will ask authorization from its respective municipal councilors to use the local government resources for Sara District Hospital.
“We have not yet eyed a specific amount but we will combine our resources to augment the capabilities of our hospital,” he said.
The number of the persons under monitoring (PUM) and PUIs in the 11 towns will also be consolidated at the office of Concepcion Mayor Raul Banias.
It will be updated from time to time to help the local chief executives lay down further plans against Covid-19.
As of Saturday, all 277 PUMs in Concepcion town completed their 14-day quarantine without progressing into PUI.
Ajuy town, meanwhile, has 150 PUMs as of Saturday. Most of the PUMs have finished their 14-day quarantine.
“We will check with the Provincial Health Office with our data, all of the 11 towns, and that will be consolidated in the office of Mayor Banias,” Rojas said. (PNA)