CATARMAN, Northern Samar –Due to the continuous rise of confirmed COVID cases in a weeks’ time in the Province of Northern Samar, Governor Edwin Marino Ongchuan requested the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (RIATF8) to place the province under General Community Quarantine for 14 days.

As a response, the RIATF 8 and Regional Task Force on Covid-19 (RTF8) in its joint resolution no. 33 approved the request of Governor Ongchuan to reclassify the quarantine status of the entire province from Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) effective October 20 to November 3, 2020.

The joint resolution likewise approved the request of the province for the suspension of the arrival of locally stranded individuals as the community isolation facilities are now filled beyond their capacities and the health care system is now under pressure.

Governor Edwin Ongchuan in his letter to RIATF dated October 18, 2020 said that GCQ quarantine status will help the province combat the spread of the virus and deliver essential health care services to confirmed cases and to better manage and implement the COIVID-19 response and mitigation mechanism.

The 23 Poblacion barangays of the capital town of Catarman were placed also under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) as it recorded the most number at 130 confirmed COVID cases, while the rest of the barangays of the entire province are under GCQ, the resolution said.

As of this writing, the province has the second-highest number of active cases in the region with 205 active cases, 153 recoveries, and 2 deaths, a total of 360.

With this, the public is advised to observe the minimum health protocol, wash hands with soap and water, wear face masks and face shields, observe one-meter social distancing, and if possible to stay at home. (nbq/TBC/PIA Northern Samar)