Koronadal tightens measures amid rising Covid-19 cases

By Allen Estabillo

April 26, 2021, 2:45 pm

<p>The city hall building of Koronadal City <em>(Photo courtesy of the city government)</em></p>

The city hall building of Koronadal City (Photo courtesy of the city government)

KORONADAL CITY – The city government has tightened its monitoring on the compliance with the health protocols by business establishments and local residents in the wake of the increasing locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Dr. Edito Vego, acting head of the City Health Office (CHO), said Monday the move was aimed to curb the rising infections of the disease in the city that could be due to exposure in various public places and establishments.

Citing their assessment, he said a number of establishments have become lax in implementing the minimum health standards and some residents were no longer complying with the protective and preventive measures when going out in public places.

The active Covid-19 cases in the city have continued to increase in the last three weeks, reaching 116 on Sunday night, the second highest among the four cities and 45 municipalities in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

The CHO recorded a total of 971 confirmed infections in the area since last year, with 20 related deaths and 835 recoveries.

Vego attributed the latest surge to a “mix of factors,” among them the lack of personal protection among residents.

He said they observed that people were no longer following the safe physical distancing measures and eating together without protective gears during occasions and events.

Some event venues and resorts were operating at full capacity while bars and other establishments that open at night were not observing the minimum health protocols, he said.

“We can’t actually pinpoint the reason (for the increasing cases) but this is due to a mix of practices,” he said in a radio interview.

Vego, who heads the city’s incident management team, said they recommended the imposition of penalties to establishments that will be found violating the minimum health standards.

The official said they also endorsed to the City Inter-Agency Task Force against Covid-19 the tightening of prevention measures at the city hall amid the rise in infections among its employees.

The local government confirmed over the weekend that 17 of its employees have tested positive for the disease.

City Mayor Eliordo Ogena also contracted the disease two weeks ago but has since recovered and returned to regular duty.

Vego said they are pushing for the reduction by 50 percent of the number of employees who are on duty in all city government offices and units.

He said half of the employees would be working in their homes for at least 14 days while the other half will report for duty at the city hall.

Vego added that they proposed for the designation of safety officer in each office that will spearhead the enforcement of the health protocols. (PNA)