RIATF 6 calls for stricter measures to contain Passi's high COVID-19 cases

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 2 (PIA) - - As Passi City has been declared as a critical zone for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease in Region (RIATF-MEID) in Western Visayas has identified local government units surrounding it as containment zone and where stricter border restrictions and surveillance shall be implemented.

However, the said LGUs shall retain their Modified General Community Quarantine status based on Resolution No. 006 series of 2021 approved by the RIATF-MEID 6 in an emergency meeting on Sunday, January 31, 2021.

It will be recalled that on January 27, Mayor Stephen Palmares issued Executive Order No. 01 placing the city under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from January 28 to February 11, 2021. The RIATF-MEID 6 through Resolution No. 006 concurred in the move of the LGU of Passi City to implement the ECQ. 

In a letter dated January 27, 2021 addressed to the Western Visayas Joint RIATF and Regional Task Force, Palmares has identified 22 out of 51 barangays or 43 percent barangays in the city as having at least 2 clusters of COVID 19 cases.

According to the resolution, the RIATF has reviewed the parameters provided in the Zoning Containment Strategy and classified the City of Passi as Critical Zone, where at least 25 percent of its barangays were declared as Critical Zone with a causal link to areas reserved and occupied as residential and/or commercial corridors, and population density is greater than 1,000 per square kilometer.

The Iloilo Provincial Health Office Summary of COVID 19 cases released on February 1 showed that the city logged the highest number of cases with 286 out of the 642 recorded in the province for the month of January this year.

Palmares, in a radio interview, said he is both happy and sad at the same time onto the situation.

“Nalipay ako nga nasubuan kay tungod nga, in the first place, amo dya ang gakatabo sa syudad naton, pero nakit-an ko man nga kung paano magbilog kag maghugpong ya mga Passinhons (I am happy and sad because in the first place this is what is happening in our city but I also saw how Passinhons unite and cooperate),” said Palmares.

As of January 31, he said more than 10,000 Passinhons have undergone the free swab tests since the city government started the mass testing last year.

Currently, the city is conducting mass testing for teachers, barangay officials and workers, market vendors and government employees.

Palmares said those who do not feel well and want to undergo a swab test may coordinate with the Mayor’s Office.

Recently, a molecular laboratory of the Philippine Red Cross was inaugurated in the city. It will use saliva testing for COVID 19. (JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo Photo courtesy of CIO Passi City) 

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Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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