100 Southern Leyte residents to remain in Cebu City for now – Mercado

By: Jani Arnaiz - Correspondent/CDN Digital | March 31,2020 - 03:29 PM

(L to R) Gov. Damian Mercado and  Provincial Board Member Teopista Rojas Jr. during a press conference that was held earlier today, March 31, 2020. | Photo by Jani Arnaiz

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte –More than 100 Southern Leyte residents, who are now stranded in Cebu City, will not be allowed to go home just yet.

Governor Damian Mercado said he cannot risk the safety of his province’s 600, 000 residents, especially since the stranded individuals, are in a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)  affected locality.

However, Mercado said, he was planning to send them cash assistance to especially make sure that they are well fed while they remain stranded in Cebu City.

“How could we allow them (to come home to Southern Leyte) when they came from Cebu (City) where there are already known (cases of patients who tested) positive of COVID -19. I could not allow (any risks on) the safety of around 600,000 people in the province,” Mercado said in a press conference this morning, March 31, 2020.

On Tuesday, Mercado also signed Executive Order No. 22 which orders the implementation of a heightened community quarantine in his province.  This means that strict checkpoints will be implemented at the borders of Leyte and Mindanao.

Checkpoints were set up in all of the province’s entry points while travelers were made to undergo temperature check, present border passes, Identification cards, and other pertinent documents.

Those who came from COVID-19 affected areas were required to observe the 14-day self-quarantine.

Mercado’s EO also prohibits the entry of residents and other travelers who came from a recent trip to Manila.

While under heightened community quarantine, Southern Leyte residents were told to minimize their movements. Only one person per family is allowed to leave their homes to purchase supplies.

In Maasin City, the city government has already started the distribution of relief goods with an emphasis on the need to observe social distancing.

Their potpots (pedicabs) are only allowed to carry one passenger at a time while motorcabs are allowed to carry three persons.

Vendors were also directed to cover their fish and meat stalls with acetate or plastic to avoid direct contact with their buyers.

Liquor ban has already been enforced while residents were advised to avoid drinking while outside of their homes to avoid arrest. / dcb


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TAGS: 100 individuals, Cebu City, COVID-19, Gov. Mercado, Southern Leyte, stranded

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