Tuesday, 03 November 2020 15:41

Moreno: No to overly stringent border controls

Written by Stephen Capillas
Moreno: No to overly stringent border controls Screengrab photos by Stephen Capillas

Local governments covered under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) should not be overly strict with their boundaries to each other since this is tantamount to a lockdown, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said.

‘Enforcing overly strict boundary controls is virtually a lockdown. Again to explain, a lockdown is done when the local government’s health care system is overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases and contact tracing cannot be done anymore. And the lockdown is enforced to prepare the health care system and frontliners in handling the pandemic,’ Mayor Moreno said during Saturday noon’s (Oct. 31) press briefing.

Mayor Moreno said this in response to questions from local media on imposing tighter border controls instead of a lockdown by restricting movement between areas to medical cases and essential travel. ‘One can easily enforce a lockdown in a small area. But in areas with large populations (like Cagayan de Oro) , a lockdown will impact heavily on livelihood as seen in Manila and Luzon,’ Mayor Moreno said.

Mayor Moreno admitted that while the city’s local cases are rising, this was offset by the high rate of recoveries which number 1,019 out of the total cumulative number of 1,693 COVID-19 cases in the city or over 60 percent. As of 10 pm of Nov. 2, Cagayan de Oro City recorded 44 new cases with one death and 14 recoveries, acting City Health Officer Dr. Lorraine Nery said.

Of that number two are returning Kagay-anons, 17 involve persons with close contact to previous cases, 19 are local index cases, five APORs (authorized persons outside residence) and one death, Dr. Nery said. Mayor Moreno credited the high rate of recoveries to City Hall’s prevention and early detection through intensive contact tracing, the extraction and isolation of COVID-19 patients and their contacts.

Two months before President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a nationwide public state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic last March, City Hall under Mayor Moreno’s administration prepared its citywide contact tracing network city as well as its isolation units and temporary treatment monitoring facilities (TTMFs). ‘And we did all this without resorting to a lockdown,’ Mayor Moreno said.

Now that Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental and northern Mindanao remain on MGCQ, Mayor Moreno said the priorities now are to stop the COVID-19 spread and accelerate the recoveries while sustaining the economy. ‘What is important is that we have a good handle of the situation and we can do more to reduce these cases if everyone of us complies with minimum public health protocols,’ Mayor Moreno said. #AntiCOVID19 #COVID19WatchCDO #LGUCDOcampaign #Yourgovernmentatwork #Kaabag #Hapsay #CDOCityHallCollaboration #TheBiggerPictureForCDO #NagkahiusaBatokCOVID-19