The city will likely go back to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) “high risk” status once the current stricter GCQ ends on Thursday (Oct. 15).
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Tuesday they are studying such option as they continue to look at necessary control measures amid the continuing clustering and local transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
He said members of the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases will convene on Wednesday to discuss the area’s Covid-19 situation.
Rivera said they will specifically decide whether there’s a need to continue with the current movement restrictions, among them the total lockdown every Sunday, barangay clustering and general curfew.
“We will still look into the restrictions but the consensus so far among our CIATF members and barangay chairmen is for us to be under MGCQ high-risk classification,” he told reporters.
The mayor said the control measures that will be implemented under such status will be based on the guidelines set by the national IATF-IED.
But he said they are looking at limiting the number of essential workers entering the city’s borders, especially those from areas with sustained community transmission of Covid-19.
The city government shut down its borders and restricted the movement of residents starting Aug. 28 after confirming the local transmission of the disease in several barangays.
The mayor eventually placed the city again under GCQ and extended it twice, with the last until Oct. 15.
The latest extension was opposed by various sectors, with the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. calling for the recall of the GCQ status and the full resumption of business activities.
With the looming implementation of the more relaxed MGCQ, Rivera assured that the city government will continue to intensify efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 and implement the necessary measures as needed.
He cited the monitoring of the city’s Covid-19 resources, especially those catering to symptomatic patients.
The CIATF earlier said the city has around 600 dedicated beds for Covid-19 patients in nine hospitals based on the 30 percent allotment set by the Department of Health.
Local hospitals have a combined bed capacity of 1,055.
As of Monday night, the city’s confirmed Covid-19 cases already reached a total of 513 cases, with 20 related deaths and 265 recoveries.
The active cases in the area have so far increased to 228 after 16 more infections were recorded in the area in the last three days. (PNA)