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Oriental Mindoro community quarantine due to COVID-19 threat begins noon of March 14

The province of Oriental Mindoro will be placed under community quarantine starting noon of Saturday, March 14, Governor Bonz Dolor announced Friday night.

Beginning 12:01 p.m. of March 14, the province will implement a total ban of movement of people and vehicles and vessels going in and out of the province, with a few exceptions, Dolor said in a video message posted on Facebook.

"Matapos ang isang masusi at matamang pagtataya ng mga datos na kinakaharap, ang PDRRMC (Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) ay nagpasa ng isang resolusyon na inirerekomenda sa Punong Ehekutibo ng ating lalawigan na lumagda ng isang executive order na kung saan ay nire-restrict ang movement o pag-ibo at paggalaw ng mga tao papasok at paglabas ng Oriental Mindoro upang pagsumikapan nating mapigil ang pagpasok at paglaganap ng nakakatakot at nakapanlulumong COVID-19 sa lalawigan ng Oriental Mindoro," Dolor said.

The ban will cover land travel as well as sea travel in and out of the province.

"Simula 12:01 ng tanghali, Marso 14, 2020, ipapatupad ang total ban sa pagpasok ng mga tao sa ating lalawigan sa pamamagitan ng barko mula Batangas papuntang Puerto Galera o papunta ng Calapan, mula Marinduque papunta ng Pinamalayan, o papunta ng Roxas galing Caticlan at galing ng Romblon, o galing man ito ng Occidental Mindoro sa pamamagitan ng land trip sa Magsaysay Bulalacao at Abra de Ilog, Puerto Galera," the governor said.

Classes from preschool to college in public and private schools are canceled beginning Monday, March 16, to Wednesday, March 25.

Delivery trucks bearing food and supplies will still be allowed to go inside the province but only until the port of Calapan or Roxas.

Trucks carrying fuel, however, will be allowed inside the province to enable delivery to gas stations. Drivers of delivery trucks from areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases will not be allowed to disembark from their trucks. They will need to exit the province as soon as their fuel products have been delivered.

Also exempted from the ban are doctors, nurses and medical personnel who may need to escort patients out of the province for further medical attention in Metro Manila or Batangas. However, upon returning to the province, these medical personnel including the driver would need to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine period.

Personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Health, health practitioners and other government officials may also be allowed in and out of the province but subject to quarantine procedure upon their return.

Residents who want to leave Oriental Mindoro may do so, Dolor said, but will not be allowed back in 14 days.

Cockfighting activities are suspended beginning 12:01 p.m. of Saturday, March 14.

Also suspended beginning 12:01 p.m. of March 14 are big gatherings inside or around government offices.

Hospital visits, meanwhile, have been discouraged beginning Thursday night, except for one watcher per patient.

Prison visits have also been suspended since Thursday night.

The provincial government also said flag raising and flag retreat activities beginning Friday afternoon have been canceled.

The province is also going to implement a four-day workweek schedule in government offices: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with no work on Wednesday. However, medical personnel as well as security guards, and personnel in the provincial command center and PDRRMO are not included in the four-day compressed workweek schedule.

The governor said all government-sponsored and -initiated activities in the province have also been canceled.

Dolor assured residents that food supplies are enough, even for the next 14.67 months.

"Handa ang Pamahalaang Lalawigan, ang Lungsod ng Calapan at ang 14 na bayan natin upang labanan ang pagpasok at paglaganap ng COVID-19 sa Oriental Mindoro. At gagawin po namin ang lahat sa ilalim ng batas at makakaya namin upang pangalagaan ang seguridad, kapakanan at kalusugan ng ating mga mamamayan," he said.

Dolor also appealed to residents who have fever and are experiencing one or more symptoms such as colds, cough, sore throat, weakness or difficulty of breathing not to go to the province first, but to seek medical attention. —KG, GMA News