MORE STRINGENT. Arteche, Eastern Samar Mayor Roland Boie Evardone in an undated photo. The detection of Covid-19 variants of concern has prompted the local government to re-implement the use of travel passes and reactivate the border checkpoint, Evardone said on Friday (Aug. 13, 2021). (Photo courtesy of the Arteche local government)

TACLOBAN CITY – The detection of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variants of concern has prompted the municipal government of Arteche in Eastern Samar to re-implement the use of travel passes and reactivate the border checkpoint.

Mayor Roland Boie Evardone said in a phone interview Friday their town has recorded confirmed cases of the Delta, United Kingdom (UK), and African variants. The three patients are from the villages of Garden and Carapdapan.

Based on contact tracing, the patient who tested positive for the Delta variant had seven close contacts, while the patient with the African variant had two. The UK variant-positive had none.

To prevent the further spread of the virus, the local inter-agency task force decided to re-implement the use of travel passes starting August 12 and reactivate the border checkpoint in Buenavista village.

“The re-imposition of (the) border checkpoint aims to monitor people who are coming in and out of the town. By requiring travel pass, local authorities can monitor the travel history of our residents and for monitoring of the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams if they have Covid-19-related symptoms,” Evardone added.

He clarified that they were not preventing people from leaving the town but noted that they must protect the people against Covid-19.

Before being issued a travel pass, the resident must first present a health certificate at the tent located outside the municipal hall compound.

The local government also asked residents returning from outside the region to undergo a facility-based quarantine even if they have negative test results.

Home quarantine for those coming from other provinces in the region is required.

Authorized persons outside residences must present their travel order as proof that they are on official business.

As of August 12, Arteche has recorded 90 confirmed Covid-19 cases in 10 of its 20 villages. At least 76 patients have recovered from the disease. (PNA)