POLICE Regional Office 1 director, Brigadier General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. yesterday said they are continuing the strict enforcement the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the entire San Fernando City in La Union until the end of the month to prevent the further spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus in 3rd-class city with an estimated more than 121,000 population.
The Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infections Diseases approved the request that San Fernando City be placed under ECQ and that the local police strictly implement social distancing, the wearing of face masks in public and curfew hours.
Police are also assisting health authorities in their contact tracing efforts in the city. “Personnel at the police station will be part of the team in contact tracing together with the health workers,” Azurin said.
The Ilocos-Pangasinan police director called on full cooperation of all local residents in their ongoing effort to enforce ECQ protocols in the city.
“Expect the police to be stricter in manning the streets and checkpoints amid the rising number of COVID cases in the province. However, the police cannot do it alone. I encourage everyone to help our front-liners in battling COVID-19. Stay inside your homes, wear your face masks, and observe proper hygiene. Let us flatten the curve together and heal as one,” he said.
Quarantine Control Points being manned by the local police have been put up in all entry and exit points in San Fernando City, Azurin said. He added that he has ordered his men to particularly enforce the ECQ guidelines in all business establishments in the city including markets and other commercial establishments.
As of last Monday, the Department of Health Region 1 Office said it has recorded seven new COVID-19 cases including one fatality in San Fernando City and in Caba, La Union.
The fatality was described as a 67-year-old male from Barangay San Agustin who manifested symptoms of the disease but refused to be admitted to hospital. His swab sample was taken on July 18. The man who was believed to have contracted the virus from Manila died on July 19 and was immediately buried the following day.
The others who were confirmed to have been infected were a 16-year-old female from Bgy. San Agustin, a 29-year old female and 31-year-old male from Bgy. Tanqui, a 41-year-old female from Bgy. Canaoay, and a 72-year-old male from Bgy. Lingsat.
As a result, the city government placed the barangays where the patients reside initially under Heightened Community Quarantine with all households subjected to strict monitoring.
Caba, which has nine cases was placed under ECQ until July 25.
On the other hand, San Fernando City has 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of last Tuesday, the La Union provincial government said it has recorded 57 cases of which seven of the victims have died.
Another 19 have already recovered from the disease and were discharged from the hospital while the rest are under strict home quarantine.