The Iloilo City government continues to tighten its measures against the coronavirus disease, or Covid-19, with the suspension of classes and prohibiting the holding of mass gatherings for the next 14 days starting March 16.
The announcement was made Friday by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas in a press conference after meeting with the city hall department heads and executive assistants and representatives of the Department of Education (DepEd), Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), Commission on Higher Education, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
The move will allow educational institutions and concerned government agencies to sanitize their places. The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) will be asked to help ensure that no learners are found loitering in the malls.
“This is not a lockdown on Iloilo. We are just calling off classes for 14 days. We are requesting malls to reduce their activities for the next 14 days,” Treñas said.
He added that the city government is only asking for 14 days because that is the incubation period of the Covid-19.
With the initiative, he said the chances of spreading the infection will be reduced.
Treñas added that if the 13 isolation rooms would be fully utilized, those infected to be referred to a hospital outside of the city.
The mayor and the city health office also met with the alliance of hotels, malls, and establishments as regard to their preparations.
“They are also concerned. This is something I don’t want to do but I think we have to do this to make Iloilo safe for everyone,” he said.
On Friday afternoon, he met with universities and churches urging them to refrain from holding masses in the next two weeks and if possible for them to sanitize their places.
At the city hall, the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) and Persons with Disability (PWD) will be closed for 14 days.
Should they need their identification cards, then the city government will find ways to provide them.
The no ID, no entry policy will be implemented at the city hall. Clients will be provided with visitors pass and their documents will be left at an office on the ground floor for the concerned city hall office to retrieve.
On the other hand, the Human Resource and Management Office (HRMO) has been instructed to “operationalize the four-day work-week.”
Markets will be sanitized daily together with plazas and Esplanade, he added.
The BFP is requested to go around the city and ask barangays to undertake cleanup activities. Barangays are advised to purchase disinfectants such as bleach or chlorine for them to sanitize their areas.
As the city strengthens its measures, the mayor said the public should not worry because the metropolis has sufficient basic commodities as assured by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Treñas also met with Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. to discuss their preparations with the expected influx of passengers at the airport following the community quarantine imposed in the National Capital Region. (PNA)