Zambo City readies vs. new virus strain

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

December 31, 2020, 4:47 pm

<p>The Zamboanga City Hall.<em> (PNA file photo)</em></p>

The Zamboanga City Hall. (PNA file photo)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Amid the threat posed by the new strain of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the city government assured it has already strengthened its collaboration with private and government agencies to implement comprehensive measures against the disease.

In a statement Thursday, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the local government has coordinated with the Office of Civil Defense and the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) to strictly impose the ban on the entry of ships with passengers and cargoes from Sabah, Malaysia to the Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (ZamBaSulTa) area.

This came after the recent detection of the new strain in Sabah, Salazar said.

She has also requested the City Council to call for an emergency meeting to decide on the moratorium on Sabah-ZamBaSulTa trips.

Salazar said coordinated efforts have been made with the Bureau of Quarantine, through Dr. Omar Aranan, on the issue of the moratorium of travel to Sabah.

The new sets of travel and health protocols, she said, "will be a joint and concerted effort with the Westmincom and other LGUs (local government units) in the nearby provinces and cities.”

She said the departments of health and the interior have called for meetings with the LGUs, as well as the regional inter-agency task force addressing the pandemic to strengthen the enforcement of Covid-19 protocols in case of a surge in cases.

As part of its long-term plan, the city government will open more isolation and testing facilities, Salazar added.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of Westmincom, said he has ordered the intensification of maritime patrols to prevent the entry of ships with passengers from Sabah to ZamBaSulTa. (PNA)