SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The African swine fever (ASF) Task Force of Antique has temporarily suspended the implementation of checkpoints in the southern and northern borders of the province.
Dr. Marco Rafael Ardamil, head of the Public Health Division of the Provincial Veterinary (ProVet), said the decision was made during their Monday meeting because of the implementation of the “courtesy lockdown” from April 5 to 19, 2021 against the surge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
As of April 4, Antique has 238 total cumulative cases with 141 active, 134 recovered, and eight deaths.
“Starting April 5 to 19, the ASF checkpoint in the southern border of Antique to Iloilo and the northern border of the province to Aklan is being suspended,” he said in an interview.
Also suspended is the checkpoint at the Lipata Port in Culasi town where there is a roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) operating from Batangas Port and at the Antique Airport here.
The suspension is due to the Executive Order 30 issued by Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao on Monday for the provincial government employees to implement alternative working arrangements due to courtesy lockdown, which discourages Antiqueños to travel outside of their municipalities to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Ardamil said.
Cadiao, during a media virtual press conference, said she has directed the capitol employees to only have a skeleton workforce to attend to the public for the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, Ardamil said they are appealing to suppliers and online sellers not to take advantage of the situation by transporting pork-based products from ASF-affected areas like Luzon and Mindanao areas.
“We have the Provincial Ordinance Number 2020-242, which was approved last December 22, 2020, prohibiting the carrying, transport, shipment, and trading of pork and pork products including but not limited to canned goods and food items containing pork originating from anywhere in the country affected by ASF,” he said.
He said that local consumers are also being urged to help keep Antique ASF-free by not patronizing online selling.
“With the courtesy lockdown, we anticipate online selling to again become rampant so we dissuade consumers from ordering online the pork-based products,” he said. (PNA)