Governor Arthur Yap has ordered the temporary closure of Plaza Rizal fronting the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Tagbilaran City to prohibit the public from congregating in the park as the province scrambles to contain a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in the past week.
The governor’s directive was based on the recommendation of Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II during an emergency meeting with mayors on Monday.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) head Anthony Damalerio, said that since the easing of community restrictions it has been observed that people gather at the plaza especially during the early hours of the morning and even more during Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Security personnel assigned at the park could not control people from congregating, more so when people go to the area in the guise of doing physical exercises but would later on gather in groups and violate social distancing rules.
With a sudden spike in reported cases of persons infected with COVID-19 in the province during the past few days, the governor is now restoring restrictions and even granular lockdowns in some areas where new infections have been recorded.
Damalerio said that beginning today personnel of the Provincial Security Force (PSF) will be deployed at the Plaza Rizal to enforce its closure.
A check made by dyRD Balita on Wednesday morning however revealed that the plaza remained accessible by the public. In fact, vendors are still allowed within the park’s vicinity.
Some of the vendors however expressed their willingness to comply with the closure order once enforced.
The city government has likewise assured to find areas where said vendors could be relocated, Damalerio added.
Complacency and the easing-up of restrictions have been regarded as the key factors in the sudden rise of COVID-19 cases in the province during the past week, as the number of infections surged to 151 from just 29 in a span of seven days. (KB, RT)