Maghihigpit na lang: Ronnel Rivera cool to placing Gen San under total lockdown again


GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government is not keen on implementing another total lockdown amid the increasing cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) local transmission.

Mayor Ronnel Rivera made the clarification Wednesday amid reports that the city may be placed anew under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after being identified as among the newest Covid-19 “hotspots” in the country.

Media reports said Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año recommended the total lockdown to help curb the rising cases of Covid-19 community transmission in the area.

Rivera said he was aware of Año’s recommendation but said the national Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has not yet decided on the matter.

He said they already submitted an appeal to the IATF-EID and the Region 12 (Soccsksargen) IATF on Covid-19 for the implementation of the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) in the area.

The city was under ECQ and GCQ from mid-March to May and has been under modified GCQ since June 1.

“We are pushing for a GCQ but with some tighter restrictions,” he told reporters.

He also cited the prevailing closure of the city’s borders and restrictions on the movement of residents, which was set from Aug. 27 to Sept. 13.

The mayor said they prefer to keep the city’s economic activities running to sustain the livelihood of local residents and support the continuing fight against the disease.

He said the local economy cannot afford another disruption and another shutdown might trigger serious repercussions.

As of Wednesday morning, the city’s confirmed Covid-19 cases already reached 131, with six deaths and 49 recoveries.

Rivera said the massive contact-tracing and containment activities are ongoing to prevent the spread of the disease to other areas in the city. (PNA)