COVID-19 surge forces Tacloban to tighten curbs: mayor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2021 04:01 PM

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An uptick in COVID-19 cases has forced local authorities in Tacloban in Leyte province to tighten restrictions, though the city is under the loosest of 4 lockdown levels, its mayor said on Tuesday. 

The curbs that the city has imposed include a ban on mass gatherings, said Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez. 

Tacloban is under modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of June. 

"We are following the GCQ guideline because we have to act fast," Romualdez said, referring to the quarantine level a notch above modified general community quarantine. 

Tighter restrictions have helped bring down new daily cases to about 40 to 50, from a previous 80 to 100.

Active COVID-19 infections in the city were at about 500, the mayor said in a televised public briefing. 

Around 100 health workers in Tacloban were among those who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. About "99 percent" of them were already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before catching the respiratory disease, and around 90 percent of them were asymptomatic, Romualdez said. 

"Ang critical d’yan, ‘pag nabakunahan ka, kailangan magpahinga ka nang at least 10 days… palakasin mo ‘yong katawan mo," he said. 

(What's critical there is after you are vaccinated, you have to rest for at least 10 days. Strengthen your body.) 

Some 30 to 40 nurses that Tacloban deployed to help during the coronavirus surge in Metro Manila have returned and finished their quarantine, allowing them to substitute for COVID-stricken colleagues, said the official. 

Tacloban's health care system caters to patients from 6 provinces, Romualdez noted. 

The city has vaccinated about 15,300 people and almost 9,000 of them have completed 2 vaccine doses. Authorities are studying if they can administer vaccines door-to-door, the mayor said.