The city government of Cotabato will be placed under community quarantine starting Monday, March 16, as part of the preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said Sunday, March 15.
While the city is still free from the deadly virus, the mayor said the local government deemed it necessary to impose strict precautions considering that it is an open city and people from its nearby towns freely go in and out on a daily basis.
Guiani-ayadi said the city will be under community quarantine and there will definitely be a limit to the movements of people inside the city considering that there has already been a recorded death in a nearby province apart from the nationwide death toll.
“I would like to inform the constituents of Cotabato City that the community quarantine that we will be implementing is just a precautionary measure. We do not want this virus to enter our city and affect our citizens that is why we are doing all we can to assure their safety,” she said.
While under community quarantine, the people coming in the city will undergo a profiling by the city police. They will be given forms that they will be filling up and that will be surrendered to the authorities while queueing up at the checkpoints. They must also be willing to have their temperatures checked by the thermal scanners that will be made available to our authorities anytime this week.
The following people will be exempted from filling up the profile forms are residents of Cotabato City, those who are not residents but are working inside the city and those who own businesses inside the city, provided that they are able to present identification cards and/or business permits.
The delivery of goods and other commodities will be allowed but still subject to profiling at the checkpoints.
“These are just the initial measures that we will be implementing while under community quarantine. As time passes by and we will need stricter regulations, we will inform the public the soonest possible time”, the mayor added.
Work will not be suspended in the city but government and private institutions are encouraged to implement flexible working hours as heavy flow of traffic at the checkpoints is expected. However, schools are directed to suspend their classes beginning on March 16.
Meanwhile, those who do not have urgent businesses in Cotabato City are discouraged to enter to limit the movements and the interactions of people, the local chief executive said.
A medical team will also be on stand by at the checkpoints to do the necessary procedures once a person who enters the city has a high body temperature, she added.