The Tacloban local government welcomed Malacañang’s declaration that put the city under general community quarantine (GCQ) status for the entire December.
Mayor Alfred Romualdez said he anticipated the GCQ classification of Tacloban as a “precautionary measure,” with coronavirus disease infections in other municipalities and cities in the Eastern Visayas Region still high.
The GCQ declaration came as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) increased the number of flights going to Tacloban.
Romualdez issued an executive order on Tuesday prohibiting “all forms of face-to-face caroling, whether done individually or by group” and “celebration of face-to-face Christmas parties or social gatherings” by any group, organization, offices, establishments, and any similar institutions.
“We are dependent on the status of other municipalities and cities in the region. Since hospitals, medical facilities and big establishments are here, we cannot prevent people from coming in,” he said.
“I am also against large family gatherings during the Christmas season as it can expose vulnerable members of the family to COVID infection.”
As of 1 December, Eastern Visayas still has 560 active coronavirus cases, 8,133 recoveries and 90 deaths. Tacloban had seven new cases that day while Samar tallied the highest at 25, followed by Eastern Samar’s nine.
A total of 8,783 have been infected in the region since March.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday extended the GCQ in Tacloban City and six other areas until 31 December.
Aside from Tacloban, also to remain under GCQ were Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan and Davao City. The rest of Eastern Visayas will be under modified GCQ.
He said considerations will be given to businesses as long as proper coordination is made with the city government.
CAAP announced five flights daily to Tacloban, or some 800 passengers coming in per day.
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