GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The provincial government of South Cotabato rebuffed reports circulating on social media that it will be implementing another total lockdown in the entire area during the Christmas holidays beginning Wednesday due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In an advisory released on Monday night, South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said such report was baseless and he has not issued any order upscaling the prevailing modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the province.
He said the province will remain under such community quarantine status until the end of the month based on his Executive Order No. 64 issued last Dec. 1.
“We want to inform everyone that there is no truth to that. There will be no lockdown happening in any part of the province,” the governor said.
Tamayo said he received information that some individuals have been spreading “false reports” on Facebook and messaging platforms supposedly coming from him regarding the declaration of a total lockdown in the area starting Dec. 23.
He said it was directly attributed to him and reportedly prompted by his ongoing isolation in his hometown in Tupi.
Tamayo went into isolation with his seven-year-old son Thirdy starting Wednesday last week after the child contracted Covid-19.
The governor came out negative in the initial testing but decided to accompany and take care of his youngest child at the isolation facility since his wife has a comorbidity with the disease due to a previous illness.
Aside from Tamayo’s son, nine of their relatives who were staying in a compound in Tupi town tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
“Some people are just trying to disrupt our situation…Please stop spreading this as it might just create panic among our people,” he said.
Tamayo said he only discouraged people from holding or attending Christmas parties due to the continuing community transmission of Covid-19 in parts of the province.
He said everyone should be extra cautious and vigilant and continue to avoid mass gatherings.
“Let’s do that for the sake of our families,” he said.
The governor assured that any changes in the area’s community quarantine status will undergo proper processes based on the criteria set by the national Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
He said the province’s current situation does not yet warrant the declaration of a lockdown or an upgrade of the MGCQ status.
As of Monday night, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the province already reached a total of 1,109 with 25 related deaths, but 90.35 percent or 1,002 of the patients have so far recovered.
Most of the current 82 active cases are either asymptomatic or only have mild symptoms. (PNA)