BUTUAN CITY – The local government unit (LGU) of Cortes town in Surigao del Sur has ordered the temporary closure of its tourism sites amidst the continuing threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The temporary closure is stipulated in Executive Order No. 20-2021 signed Tuesday by Mayor Josie M. Bonifacio and took effect Wednesday (June 9) until June 23.
The town of Cortes has fine beach resorts regularly visited by foreign and local tourists and the site of the famous Laswitan Lagoon.
Bonifacio cited in the order the presence of Covid-19 variants B.1.351 (first detected in South Africa), B.1.1.7 (first detected in the UK), and P.3 (first detected in the Philippines) in the Caraga Region as reported by the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 13.
Bonifacio also noted the increased number of Covid-19 cases in the town. As of June 5, Cortes has a total of 27 Covid-19 cases with 16 recoveries, nine active cases, and two recorded deaths.
“The Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force for Covid-19 convened on Tuesday (June 8) to craft new guidelines to avert the spike of Covid-19 positive cases in the municipality,” Bonifacio said.
Aside from the temporary closure of tourism sites and spots, the LGU also ordered the enforcement of curfew hours from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. during the period.
A liquor ban will also be in effect, while cockfights and all forms of gambling shall be prohibited during the period.
The LGU also prohibits all non-essential gatherings while masses and other religious gatherings will be allowed at 50 percent capacity.
Wake and vigils of residents who die other than Covid-19 shall be allowed for five days and limited for immediate family members only, the order said. (PNA)