Ormoc City mayor says early lockdown kept them COVID-19 free

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 7) — The mayor of Ormoc City in Leyte attributed the COVID-free state of the area to the local government’s “early and strict” implementation of lockdown.

As early as March 22, the city government has been strict in allowing entry to Ormoc, mayor Richard Gomez said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

“The only people that could enter Ormoc City are its residents, people coming from other municipalities who work in Ormoc, or those delivering goods to other places,” Gomez said.

The mayor added that facilities have already been set up in case coronavirus infections are to be reported in the city. These include a diagnostic center which can house at least 30 people.

Rooms in Ormoc hospitals, as well as covered courts in barangays, have also been prepared to accept COVID-19 patients, according to Gomez.

While the city is under lockdown, Gomez said they have already provided a sack of rice for each of the 65,000 homes in Ormoc.

The mayor also urged everyone to comply with the stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of the viral disease.

“I wish everybody well. I hope that nobody will get sick. But I think the best way really is to isolate people, so I ask for the patience of everybody to stay at home,” he said.

Nationwide, the health department has so far recorded 3,764 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The death toll stands at 177, while 84 patients have now recovered.