QUARANTINE CHOKEPOINTS. The Zamboanga City government is set to downgrade the quarantine chokepoints on the highways and borders as the city remains under Alert Level 1 and with minimal coronavirus disease 2019 cases recorded since May 2020. The chokepoints will be used for security purposes due to their strategic locations. (Photo courtesy of City Hall PIO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The quarantine chokepoints established on the highways and borders at the height of the pandemic in 2020 will be downgraded soon, as the city remains under Alert Level 1 status and with low coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases since May this year.

Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) chief, said Wednesday this was the recommendation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC).

Apolinario said the quarantine chokepoints on the borders of Barangay Licomo (east coast) and Limpapa (west coast), and on the highways in Upper Calarian and Divisoria will be downgraded to purely security checkpoints.

These chokepoints were used to control the movements of people, both entry and exit, in the city during lockdowns at the height of the pandemic.

“The CDRRMC’s recommendation was to open the lanes at quarantine chokepoints to all vehicles and travelers, subject to security checks only,” Apolinario said in a statement.

He said the CDRRMC finds the chokepoints no longer necessary, as far as the objectives on which they were created now that the pandemic is slowly waning.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) placed the city under Alert Level 1 in May this year.

Alert Level 1 refers to areas wherein case transmission is low and decreasing, total bed utilization rate, and intensive care unit utilization rate is low.

Meanwhile, City Health Office data showed that the active Covid-19 cases decreased to 78, with 17 new recoveries recorded.

Of the total active cases, 75 were acquired through community transmission, two authorized persons outside residence, and a returning overseas Filipino. (PNA)