The City Council on Tuesday adopted a measure that placed Puerto Princesa under a ”state of public health emergency”, allocating P75 million to strengthen its preventive measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Councilor Victor Oliveros, majority floor leader, assured the public that the city government is “aware of the threat and does not want to be caught sitting down” as the COVID-19 scare continues, having the fourth (4th) recorded case of person under investigation (PUI) in the city.

“The unused funds from last year will be allocated to purchase masks, suits for health workers, vitamins, and other materials to help the city be more prepared in prevention and fighting the disease,” he said.

No Cancellation of Classes

School classes will not be cancelled, as recommended by schools divisions superintendent Dr. Servillano A. Arzaga.

However, a “massive” information education campaign (IEC), to be headed by the City Health Office (CHO), will be in place for the remaining two weeks of the school year.

Based on the school calendar published earlier by the Department of Education (DepEd), classes are expected to end on April 3.

Vitamins, mask, alcohol, and sanitizers will be purchased and given to the students and teachers.

Coliseum Lockdown

Graduation ceremonies may still push through, depending on the decision of each school.

However, the Puerto Princesa City Coliseum will be on “lockdown” and will not be allowed to be utilized for public use.

“We do not want public gatherings since we want to limit social contact. We decided to lockdown the Coliseum because we do not want it to be contributory on possible spreading of the virus,” Oliveros added.

Travel Ban for City Officials

A memorandum order will also be issued prohibiting all city officials from travelling outside the city.

Kung hindi naman kinakailangan, pagbabawalan na ang mga empleyado na pumunta ng Maynila o ibang lugar,” he added.

Additional thermal scanners and sanitizers will also be purchased as part of the precautionary measures in fighting against the disease.

Possible Sanctions

A certain courier service, who was earlier tasked to deliver specimen for confirmatory tests in Manila, was alleged to have refused in carrying any further samples coming from the city.

Dr. Mario Baquilod, regional director of DOH, said that he will coordinate with the provincial DOH officials in finding other courier service to bring in future samples.

The city government, on the other hand, took a string stand and said that they are ready to impose heavy sanction against said courier service in case it does not comply with the need for the public emergency.

“Titingnan natin kung pwede natin silang ipasara. This is a matter of public concern,” Oliveros added.

Puerto Princesa City currently has one PUI recorded on Monday, following three other cases which were subsequently discharged after the negative result received from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

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