23 villages under ECQ in Northern Samar town

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At least 23 villages in Catarman, Northern Samar have been placed under stricter quarantine measures due to increase in COVID-19 cases. (FILE PHOTO)

Tacloban City (CNN Philippines, October 15) — At least 23 villages in Catarman, Northern Samar have been placed under stricter quarantine measures due to increase in COVID-19 cases.

Catarman's Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force placed Acacia, Airport Village, Bangkerohan, Baybay, Calachuchi, Cawayan, Casoy, Dalakit, Ipil-Ipil, Jose Abad Santos, Jose P. Rizal, Lapu-lapu, Macagtas, Mabolo, Molave, Narra, Sampaguita, Santol, Talisay, UEP (University of Eastern Philippine) Zone 1, UEP Zone 2, UEP Zone 3, and Yakal under enhanced community quarantine from October 15 to 30.

Under ECQ, work-from-home arrangement will be imposed for private and public offices except frontline services such health, emergency, waste collection, courier services and border control. Farmers and fishermen are also exempted from the stay-at-home rule while some private establishments such as media may operate at their physical office but with only 50 percent of their workforce.

Residents who are 21 to 59 years old with a quarantine pass are allowed to leave their homes but only to buy basic necessities or avail of health services. Public transportation at the town center has also been suspended for 15 days while a liquor ban is in place and mass gathering has been prohibited.

The task force noted that not all of the affected villages have active or currently ill residents but they were included in the restriction due to their proximity to the infected areas.

Catarman has recorded 110 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 47 are actives, 55 recoveries and one death.

Tacloban-based journalist Wil Mark Amazona contributed to this report.