Zamboanga City will be under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting May 8 after recording a sudden single-day surge in Covid-19 cases.

Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar announced on Wednesday night that the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) approved the new quarantine restrictions.

“COVID cases are swelling in Zamboanga City and it is tagged as high-risk area in the region,” Climaco said.

The mayor issued Executive Order No. BC 656-2021 placing the city under MECQ starting on Saturday, May 8 and “until such time the health menace subsides.”

Under the MECQ, only those with quarantine pass ‘A’ will only be allowed to leave their homes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to access basic provisions and health services. Those with quarantine pass “B” will be authorized to go out every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

All persons below 18 and above 65 years old, and those with comorbidities and pregnant women will not be allowed to leave their homes.

Social and private gatherings will be suspended. Religious gatherings with attendance limited up to 10% of the venue capacity are permitted.

Government offices will remain fully operational with skeleton workforce.

Curfew hours will be from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Meanwhile, movement of all types of goods or cargoes via land, sea and air shall remain unhampered.

However, the city will implement a “No RT-PCR, No Entry” Policy for all persons arriving at all points of entry to Zamboanga City.

As of May 4, Zamboanga City has recorded 1,769 active Covid-19 cases, from 170 cases it recorded the previous day.  – Rommel F. Lopez