Ronnie Lagnada orders closure of Butuan public markets amid rise in COVID-19 cases


Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada has ordered the temporary closure of one of the big markets here as local transmissions of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) continue to increase.

In a letter sent to Atty. Edwin Jon Pizarro, OIC-chief of the Office of the City Economic Enterprise, Lagnada ordered the temporary closure of the Mayor Salvador L. Calo Supermarket–also known as the “Langihan Market” — for a period of six days starting Wednesday (Aug. 26).

Lagnada noted that three of the 14 new Covid-19 patients announced by the Department of Health in Caraga Region (DOH-13) Tuesday afternoon are identified as stall owners and vendors at Langihan Market.

One of the Covid-19 cases in the city who recently died was also a stall owner and vendor in the said market, the mayor also pointed out.

“As these bad tidings demand serious intervention from the city government, we have proposed to, and have secured the approval of the Regional Task Force against Covid-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) for the temporary total lockdown Mayor Salvador L. Calo Supermarket,” Lagnada said.

The temporary closure, he said, will allow authorities to conduct intensive contact tracing and disinfection of the premises of the market.

On Tuesday, DOH-13 announced 14 additional Covid-19 cases in Caraga, nine of which are from Butuan City, particularly coming from Barangays Ambago, Ampayon, Bayanihan, Mahogany, Pagatpatan, Tandang Sora, and Villa Kananga.

The other areas in the region that have new Covid-19 cases include Agusan del Norte, Santiago (2); Agusan del Sur, Prosperidad (1); and Surigao del Sur, Bislig City (1), and Tandag City (1).

As of Tuesday, Butuan City has 170 Covid-19 cases with 103 recoveries, 64 active cases, and three recorded deaths.

The new cases include five Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs), one Returning Overseas Filipino (ROF), five close contacts of previously confirmed local transmission cases, and three local transmissions wherein one is a health worker.

With the increase of the Covid-19 infections in the region, DOH-13 director Jose R. Llacuna Jr. has called for stricter community quarantine measures.

“There is a need to implement aggressive community quarantine measures to arrest a widespread transmission or community-wide transmission,” Llacuna said.

He also pointed out that under a community-wide transmission, contact tracing becomes very challenging and is not enough in containing the widespread transmission of the virus as he urged the people of Caraga for a proactive public health response.

“Again, we appeal to all Caraganons to help each other stop the further spread of this virus by following the minimum health standards such as wearing of masks to reduce the amount of emitted respiratory droplets from people who might have the infection, wash your hands, refrain from attending social gatherings such as parties and festivities and maintain at least one-meter physical distancing,” Llacuna said.

He also asked those who have symptoms to immediately seek medical advice for early management and treatment. (PNA)