Ilocos Norte bans mass gatherings

NO MASS GATHERINGS. Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc leads the Provincial Health Task Force outdoor press conference on Tuesday (Dec. 1, 2020) as he urged all residents to avoid mass gatherings. For indoors, the number of persons should not be over 15 and not more than 40 for outdoors. (PNA photo by Leilanie G. Adriano)  

LAOAG CITY – The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte has banned gatherings of more than 15 persons for indoor and over 40 for outdoor as local officials monitor the daily new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases after a sharp spike in the past few days.

In an outdoor press conference at the Capitol Bonsai Garden on Tuesday afternoon, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc urged residents to continue to avoid social gatherings, including those in private homes, restaurants and parks.

As of December 1, Ilocos Norte has recorded a total of 379 cases with 181 recoveries and two deaths. Expanded testing is also ongoing in the city after they were identified as close contacts of a previously infected patient.

Dr. Norman Rabago, provincial consultant on Covid-19, reiterated on Wednesday that even if a person, who was earlier identified as close contact to a Covid-19 positive individual, tests negative, he/she still needs to complete the 14-day quarantine as a precaution.

“Help us suppress the spread of the virus please. We can do this as long as we are together. If anyone would not follow, we can’t win this war,” Rabago said.

While Laoag is under localized modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the Provincial Health Task Force is appealing once again to all residents to stay home.

“Don’t sacrifice and compromise lives against your work. The faster we contain, the earlier we can ease out,” Rabago said.

Since the implementation of MECQ in Laoag, there had been lesser people and vehicles seen on the streets while the public market was closed again effective Dec. 2 until Dec. 5 for contact tracing, unless extended.

Most of the active cases in Laoag involved several vendors, peddlers and porters.

The public is also reminded that failure to comply with the minimum health and safety protocols will be penalized based on existing laws and other related guidelines. (PNA