Stringent health protocols imposed in Gensan amid surge in COVID-19 cases


Mayor Ronnel Rivera

GENERAL SANTOS CITY- Local authorities have undertaken stringent health protocols to curb the  surge of corona virus disease (COVID-19) which had reached more than 300 active cases with some 90 fatalities in the city.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera had earlier issued an executive order which imposed a total liquor ban, expanded curfew from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. and lockdown during Sundays which began May 16 until May 31 as  preventive measures to arrest the increasing COVID-19 cases that had put in jeopardy the health capacity of the local hospitals in the city.

Starting May 1 until May 31, the local Inter-agency Task Force vs. COVID-19 had recommended stricter border control protocols which prohibit the entry of non-essential travelers into the city except for those who seek medical intervention in the city health facilities and essential workers employed in city-based companies.

Local health authorities have launched intensified contact tracing campaign after two returning overseas workers tested positive for COVID-19 with Indian and UK variants.

The COVID-19 patients who worked as seamen from Oman and Bangladesh  tested positive for COVID-19 after they underwent the mandatory RT-PCR testing upon arrival at the city’s airport from Manila.   

The City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit team from the City Health Office had conducted contact tracing to at least thirteen local residents who were co-passengers of the COVID-19 patients during their flight from Manila to General Santos City.

Dr. Karl Hill Florida, local IATF spokesperson, said the upsurge of COVID-19 infection in the city was attributed to the opening of the local economy wherein restrictions were relaxed after the opening of restaurants and entertainment bars during the Modified General Community Quarantine status of the city last January.   

The virus had infected several workplaces in the local government wherein several city hall employees and policemen got infected by COVID-19. 

He said that many people who are asymptomatic and untested for COVID-19 infection are possible carriers of the virus who roam around undetected as COVID-19 positive.

He reminded the people to be extra cautious in observing the health protocols including the wearing of face masks and shields in public places to avoid infection of the virus.


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