MANILA (UPDATE) - Laoag City on Monday was placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.
In an executive order signed Monday, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc reintroduced tougher restrictions on movement in the city to stem coronavirus infections.
"In fact, if we are to follow DOH (Department of Health), I think we're already recommended to be under ME (modified enhanced [community quarantine]) but due to the economic impact, we have chosen to escalate only to GCQ. That's for Laoag City," he said in an earlier press briefing.
As of Jan. 11, Laoag City has recorded 421 coronavirus infections, of which 297 patients have recovered from the disease.
City records show 124 are currently sick with the virus, or known as active cases.
Laoag City, known for its tourist destinations, was under GCQ on Dec. 11 and placed to MGCQ on Dec. 25.
"I would like to emphasize that the outbreaks that we are experiencing is not due to tourism," Manotoc said, adding the lockdown restriction aims to limit leisure and non-essential travels.
The Philippines employs a 4-level community quarantine scheme ranging from the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to the most relaxed MGCQ.
The quarantine level dictates the type of business activities allowed in a certain area, as well as travel restrictions.
During the press briefing, Manotoc also bared that the provincial government had placed an advance order of 120,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.
"It won't be a general vaccination. We will prioritize those who are at risk, the vulnerable sector and our frontliners," he said.
Manotoc said, "My priorities this year are COVID-19 vaccination and the revitalization of job and livelihood."