Even without a confirmed case of the coronavirus disease 2019 in the province, the local government of Zamboanga Sibugay has put the entire province under general community quarantine, effective noon of March 17.
Zamboanga Sibugay Governor Atty. Wilter Palma signed an executive order early Monday, imposing a near lock-down, prohibiting entry of all types of vehicles in the province, including for public transportation such as bus and van.
Residents who are using their private vehicles are also prohibited to enter the province by noon of Tuesday.
However, Palma said there are exemptions in the travel restrictions.
Based on the executive order, all health workers, local government employees of Zamboanga Sibugay, as well as employees of national government offices and members of Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine Coast Guard are exempted from the travel prohibitions.
Palma said they would also give special consideration to medical emergencies.
Transportation of goods, fuel, medicines, animal food, medical supplies, agricultural and fishery products and construction supplies, among others, are exempted as well from the travel restrictions.
However, truck drivers and their helpers should observe precautionary measures such as checking their body temperature and social distancing.
Classes in all levels, both public and private, are suspended in Zamboanga Sibugay starting March 16.
Students have been given long assignments and are advised to stay home during the suspension of classes.
The provincial government has implemented a four-day work week in all local offices, except for government-run hospitals, provincial detention centers, civil security unit, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management office.
In the entire Western Mindanao, Zamboanga Sibugay has the fewest number of patients under monitoring, numbering to about 6, as of Monday.