Parts of Ilocos Norte placed under MECQ starting July 23 as COVID-19 cases surge

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — Several parts of Ilocos Norte will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine starting Friday as COVID-19 cases surge, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said.

“As initially planned and in line with my discussions with our mayors over the past few days, I hereby declare the City of Batac and the Municipalities of Bangui, Dingras, Dumalneg, Marcos, Pagudpud, Paoay, Pasuquin, and Solsona under MECQ until further notice,” Manotoc said in a Facebook post.

Aside from strict compliance to health protocols, Executive Order No. 139-21, series of 2021, also says that movement within the affected areas is limited to work, accessing of essential goods and services, and individual exercise – like outdoor walks, jogging, running, or biking.

People below 18 and over 65 years old, those with health problems, and pregnant women are required to stay at home.

Also to be observed are a liquor ban, and curfew hours from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. -- except for health workers, government officials, Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection personnel, and authorized persons outside of residence (APOR).

Public transportation will also be available, subject to compliance with the Transportation department’s guidelines.

Local governments may establish checkpoints with the PNP and other authorities to implement border control measures. Local chief executives may also set barangay checkpoints and issue barangay pass slips.

Non-essential gatherings are prohibited, while others like for the provision of government services, humanitarian causes, and religious gatherings will be allowed but are required to observe health guidelines.

Some business establishments will also be allowed to operate under certain limitations, while work in government offices will be under a skeleton workforce.

Corresponding penalties will be applied to violators.

Local chiefs are also authorized to issue additional guidelines that are still aligned with those stated in the order.

According to data from the Health department, Ilocos Norte has a total of 5,819 COVID-19 cases, of which 907 are currently ill. Recoveries are at 4,842 and deaths at 70.