ZAMBOANGA CITY – Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar on Thursday ordered local security forces to tighten border control, both in land and sea, to prevent the entry of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Delta variant here.
Salazar’s order came after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 16 Delta variant cases in the country last week, 11 of which were reported in Northern Mindanao.
“The security sector, particularly the Coast Guard and those manning the city’s borders have been directed to intensify and strengthen border control with emphasis on ‘No RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test), No Entry’ policy, and it will remain for as long as the covid threat and its new variant exist,” Salazar said in a statement.
Salazar also talked with Tawi-Tawi Gov. Yshmael Sali regarding the matter.
Sali told Climaco-Salazar that a similar policy is being implemented in his province.
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is highly transmissible and is now present in 124 countries according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The security sector and the local government recently busted the fake RT-PCR test results from unscrupulous individuals trying to sneak into the city using dubious documents.
Salazar said investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite, city health officer, said Thursday that they will use special security features that cannot be duplicated and can be validated to prevent the falsification of vaccination certificates.
Dr. Agusto Manolo Alpichi, DOH-9 assistant director, also encouraged the public to submit themselves to the government’s vaccination program and to strictly comply with the health protocols to be protected against any variant of Covid-19. (PNA)