Puerto Princesa COVID-19 surge due to easing of travel restriction, says mayor


Posted at May 10 2021 07:28 AM

Travellers wearing personal protective equipment as a precuation against COVID-19 arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Parańaque City on March 17, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—Puerto Princesa City has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases because the national government eased travel restrictions, its mayor said Monday.

The tourist spot has 533 active cases as of Monday, according to Mayor Lucilo Bayron. It tallied 121 infections on Sunday, its first time tallying more than 100 cases in a day, he said.

The city's vice mayor contracted the disease but is asymptomatic, Bayron said.

"Naglabas ang national government ng unified travel protocol na hindi na pwede mag-quarantine. I-screen na lang ang dumarating at ang may symptoms 'yun na lang ang iku-quarantine. Palagay ko du'n nagsimula," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(The national government released a unified travel protocol that prohibits quarantine of incoming travelers. They were to be screened, and only those who showed symptoms would be quarantined. I think that's when it began.)

The local government had requested that incoming passengers from Metro Manila be prohibited, Bayron said. The national government barred travelers except public officials or authorized persons allowed outside residence (APOR), he added.

"Tuloy-tuloy pa rin 'yun, di namin naku-quarantine ''yun," he said.

(They continue to arrive and we can't quarantine them.)

Puerto Princesa's four hospitals are at full capacity and the local government keeps on adding isolation facilities to keep up with infections, according to the mayor.

"Siguro 90 percent sila na puno, mahirap kumuha ng beds sa mga ospital na yan," he said.

(They are around 90 percent full, it's difficult to get beds in these hospitals.)

"Ever since nagkaroon kami ng pandemya, di kami nagku-quarantine sa schools kundi sa hotels . . . Nu'ng binawal na ang quarantine, palagay ko doon na nagsimula ang problema namin."

(Ever since the pandemic reached us, we did not use schools for quarantine, only hotels. When they barred quarantines, I think that's when our problem began.)

The Philippines on Sunday logged 7,174 cases, bringing its total to 1,101,990, with 61,294 active infections.

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