MANILA - All malls in Cavite are temporarily closed again after shoppers violated physical distancing rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Governor Jonvic Remulla said Monday, after cases of the respiratory disease spiked in the province.
Cavite and other low-risk areas on the country were placed under the less stringent general community quarantine or GCQ last Saturday.
Some residents used their employee's pass outside office hours so they could stroll around malls, while others misused their quarantine pass and ate at restaurants even though these are limited to take-out and delivery services, Remulla said on Facebook.
COVID-19 cases in the province that lies south of the capital climbed to 275 as of Sunday from 239 on Wednesday, he said.
"Wala po nakitang pinasusunod na patakaran ukol sa social distancing. Kung akala ng lahat ay kung pati sa mall ay PNP pa rin ay para na rin ninyo sinabi na kalimutan na ang ibang trabaho at sitahin na lang ang nasa mall," Remulla said.
(No guidelines on social distancing were observed. If everyone thinks that the Philippine National Police should keep watch over malls, it's as if you're saying that officers should forget their other responsibilities and just reprimand violators at malls.)
Malls in the province, including their supermarkets and drug stores, will be closed until measures are in place to ensure physical distancing, he said.
"Sandali lamang Ito hanggang maka bigay Ng plano ang may kanya ukol sa social distancing," said the governor.
(This will only be for a while, until authorities come up with a plan for social distancing.)
An inter-agency task force earlier told the public to stay at least 1 meter apart to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission. Malls that defy physical distancing measures and curfew hours will be closed, the interior department said Sunday.
Remulla also asked his workers in his province to secure a "certificate of duty" from their offices. Residents, he said, are given an hour to get to work and another hour and a half to get home.
"Pasensya na kayo, inabuso ang sistema at kailangan higpitan," he said. "Tandaan, ang Q sa GCQ ay 'Quarantine.' Hindi pa po tapos ang sakuna."
(I apologize. The system was abused and needed to be stricter. Remember, the 'q' in GCQ stands for quarantine. The crisis is not yet over.)
Home to some 3.7 million people, Cavite is the most populous province in Calabarzon region, according to 2015 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.