GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government has restored the quarantine protocol for travelers and returning residents from abroad and areas in the country with confirmed cases of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variants.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera directed the mandatory isolation and 14-day quarantine for all concerned travelers in line with the provisions of Resolution No. 104 issued by the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF-EID) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases effective Wednesday.
He specifically cited those coming from the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and countries flagged by the Department of Health with cases of the mutant Covid-19 strains.
“This is the mandate, whether the travelers will come to the city either by land, sea and air,” he said in Executive Order No. 13 released to the public late Tuesday afternoon.
The order mainly recalled the general scrapping two weeks ago of the quarantine requirement for travelers and returning residents in compliance with the IATF regulations.
For those from other areas, the mayor said the quarantine requirement will be waived but they have to present negative test results for Covid-19 through antigen or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.
He said they should also pass the mandatory “clinical and exposure assessment” before departure from their ports of origin and upon arrival at the city international airport and other entry points.
Passengers exhibiting suspected symptoms of Covid-19 at their ports of origin will not be allowed to travel to the city or board any inbound plane or vessel, he said.
Rivera said travelers and returning residents that will be required to undergo quarantine will be properly documented and registered to the quick response or QR-coded Trace and Protect Action Team (Tapat) system for proper tracking.
The barangays and rural health units, through members of the health emergency response teams, will be tasked to monitor the daily status of the quarantined individuals, he said.
To curb the continuing local transmission of Covid-19, the mayor directed the strict monitoring on the compliance to minimum health standards — wearing of face mask and face shield and the observance of safe physical distancing — at the barangay and community levels.
He said the local government will provide face mask and face shield to households, especially those belonging to the vulnerable sectors.
Rivera said they will strictly enforce the use of the Tapat contact-tracing application by business establishments and offices.
He said the city-wide curfew from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. remains in effect, including the ban on the selling of liquor during the period.
On Tuesday, the city government cautioned residents and called for sustained compliance to health and safety protocols as it noted the “sudden surge of Covid-19 cases” in the area in the last two weeks.
The confirmed infections in the city have so far reached a total of 2,183 cases as of Tuesday night, with 85 related deaths and 2,009 recoveries.
The City Health Office said some 89 active cases are currently under isolation and treatment, with most patients either asymptomatic and only having mild symptoms. (PNA)