General Santos City has been placed under General Community Quarantine as the city continues to experience a spike in new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

 Mayor Ronnel Rivera issued an executive order (EO) restricting the movement of residents to minimize person-to-person contact in the city.

Rivera said the declaration was made following reports from local hospitals catering to Covid-19 patients that they have already reached their full capacity as of Sunday.

“Our neighboring localities are also experiencing the same situation and this is very difficult for all of us,” he said.

Under the EO No. 25 s. 2021, shopping malls, except for their grocery sections, and other “non-essential” establishments will temporarily close starting Tuesday (May 25, 2021) until June 30.

Restaurants, fast food outlets, and eateries are only allowed to accept orders for take-out and delivery.

Offices are encouraged to implement alternative work arrangements if their operations will allow.

The city’s 26 barangays will be divided into three clusters to limit the movement of people, including public and private transportation.

Each cluster is allotted two days each week, except on Sundays, to access food and other essential supplies.

Curfew hours will continue from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. while the total liquor ban is extended until June 30.

Border lockdowns, “no movement Sunday” and the total liquor ban in all public places will remain in effect, with additional restrictions to ensure proper compliance.

Entry into the city will be for essential travel only and all travelers coming from areas outside of Region 12 (Soccksargen) will be required to submit a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results for Covid-19 starting June 1.

Wakes, including the processing of related documents, are allowed up to five days but will be limited to not more than 10 people.

Other mass gatherings, including religious services and other activities involving more than 10 persons, are prohibited.

City officials reveal that high transmission rate was traced among essential workers and to parties and similar gatherings.

General Santos City has recorded 37 new cases as of Monday evening, bringing its active cases to 560, the highest in the region.

Its total Covid-19 cases has reached 3,311, with 108 deaths and 2,643 recoveries.– Rommel F. Lopez