To prevent the possible influx of a new, more contagious coronavirus variant which originated in the United Kingdom, the province of Sulu will go on lockdown in January, according to Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan.

Tan signed an executive order placing the whole province of Sulu on lockdown from Jan. 4 to 17, 2021. 

“Extendable po iyan, depende po sa sitwasyon. At alam iyan ng ating mga kababayan dito na ito ay para sa kanila,” he said in a public briefing.

Returning migrant workers and residents who are not frontliners will be banned from entering the province. Goods, however, will still be allowed according to Tan. 

The executive order was released following the recent news that the new strain of Covid-19 was detected in Sabah, Malaysia which is near the province. 

The governor also asked for the assistance from the national government in patrolling Sulu’s coastlines, machines for coronavirus testing, and additional food supply.

President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the banning of flights from the UK and other 19 territories to prevent the entry of the new virus. RJ Espartinez