More provinces placed under enhanced community quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 1) - More provinces have been placed under enhanced community quarantine as a containing measure against the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

On Monday, Samar Governor Reynolds Michael Tan imposed a stay-at-home order in his province, a day after its first coronavirus infection was reported in Calbayog City.

Tan placed the entire province of Samar under ‘preemptive enhanced community quarantine’ to restrict the movement of people and prohibit non-essential travel from April 1 to 15, 2020. The measure amended his previous ‘general community quarantine’ policy.

While the new quarantine order is in effect, individuals below 18 years old and people aged 60 years old and above are strictly prohibited from leaving their homes.

Unless they show COVID-19 symptoms, Tan said farmers and fisherfolk are exempted from the lockdown to ensure enough food supply in the province.

The latest move came a day after Samar reported its first COVID-19 case in Calbayog City on March 31.

Negros Oriental is also set to implement strict home quarantine to all its residents starting on April 3. It is also banning land and sea travel to and from the province.

According to the province’s Executive Order No. 2020-26, only one able-bodied member of the household will be allowed to venture out to access basic necessities. He or she must not be older than 65 years old.

Basic services will continue to be provided by local government departments which have adopted alternative work arrangements, the order stipulated.

Only hospitals, pharmacies, gasoline stations, public utility services, and funeral parlors are the establishments allowed to operate 24-hours.

Other businesses like restaurants, public markets, groceries, veterinary clinics, and banks could only operate until 8 pm.

The order also restricts land and sea travel in the province, which means no one is allowed to enter and exit the province during the quarantine period.

In Ilocos Norte, meanwhile, a town mayor has ordered an extreme enhanced community quarantine in one of his barangays.

Paoay Mayor Romulo Acdal, Sr. has imposed a total lockdown in Barangay Sungadan on Wednesday. With all of the community’s establishments ordered shut down, the issuance of quarantine passes was also temporarily suspended.

The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon will end on April 13. So far, the country now has 2,311 cases of COVID-19, 96 deaths, and 50 recoveries.

Tacloban-based Stringer Wil Mark Amazona and CNN Philippines Multi-Platform News Writer Vince Ferreras contributed to this report