NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Gov. Art Yap called the mayors to an emergency virtual meeting to instruct the tightening of monitoring on the observance of the minimum health standards in their respective localities at the height of the spike in active cases of Covid-19.
In response, some mayors already issued executive orders for the suspension of government activities that would attract mass gathering of people.
The governor noted that the sudden spike to 133 the other weekend from only 23 as of November 23.
It continued to increase to 149 as of December 2, but slightly dropped to 146 the following day, then to 145 by Friday and now 128, considering the patients who have recovered from the infection.
The governor noted that majority in the active cases involve the locally stranded individuals (LSIs), authorized persons outside of residence (APORs), OFWs, and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).
Of the number, 67 percent are the quarantined APORs, LSIs and OFWs; while the community and local transmissions increased by 33 percent where the cases are spread through 19 towns.
To address the alarming statistics, the governor instructed the mayors and the chiefs of police in their areas to implement strict community protocols.
The governor requested the mayors to designate health marshals and deploy them to the public markets, terminals, eateries and restaurants, and other places of convergence.
The governor also sent a letter to the common carriers in the domestic air and sea travel sectors, reminding the them to strictly implement the health protocols and ensure to check all their Bohol-bound passengers.
The governor told the common carriers to disinfect their aircrafts, for the airlines; and the vessels, for the shipping companies.
He also sent a letter to the Regional IATF, requesting for the issuance of a memorandum circular that would call for the suspension of activities by both local national and local agencies that would invite mass gathering, except for those intended to provided medical and emergency services.
Also, in response to the request from Tagbilaran City Government, Plaza Rizal across the St. Joseph Cathedral is temporarily closed as this is where a large number of people usually gather.
For his part, Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap assured that the city government already has a relocation plan for the ambulant city vendors at the plaza who would be affected.
The governor also shared that report of the medical doctors, noting that the people have already relaxed in observing the minimum health standards.
He warned that Covid-19 cases in Bohol would increase further if the people would continue to disregard the minimum health standards.
The governor appealed for the cooperation of everyone as it would be hard to be placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) again, because many have already lost their livelihood.
Bohol has managed well the situation in the past eight months. There is no reason, discipline can be taken for granted this time when the province has already gone a long way in dealing with the pandemic, according to the governor.