A “community transmission” alert is up again over Puerto Princesa City as the number of new COVID-19 cases saw a rapid rise since the death last week of an elderly patient from Barangay San Jose.

The city government also announced it will reimpose strict curfew hours beginning Sunday, February 14, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., along with stricter quarantine measures.

Under current health protocols, a community transmission is declared when the cases in the community arise from an unknown source or sources.

In a live briefing on Saturday, Incident Management Team (IMT) chief Dr. Dean Palanca announced that nine new cases were recorded in the city. Out of the nine new active cases, seven were identified to be close contacts of the deceased 82-year-old female patient.

“Community transmissions na ito dahil nga sabi natin mukhang mabilis at madaling makahawa,” Dr. Palanca said.

He added that out of the seven cases, four are from Brgy. San Jose, one from Brgy. Mandaragat, one from Brgy. Milagrosa, and one from Brgy. San Pedro. 

“Sila ay mga katrabaho ng mga nag-positive na cases na galing sa Barangay San Jose,” Dr. Palanca added.

City Health Office (CHO) chief Dr. Ric Panganiban added during the briefing that more stringent measures will be in place in the city considering the sharp uptake in COVID-19 cases.

“Simula bukas, February 14, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. na ang ating curfew. Ito ay for 14 days. Paiigtingin din natin ang presence ng ating mga COVID marshals. At baka nakalimutan natin, dahil naka-MGCQ tayo, ang puwede lang lumabas ay ang may edad 15 hanggang 65 years old lang. Kasi nakikita mo sa mga mall, medyo nakakalimutan na ito, may mga baby pa. Pagpapatupad natin ulit ‘yon. At the same time, maglalabas din tayo ng request na i-reduce muna ang workforce ng mga opisina by 50%,” said Dr. Panganiban.

He added that the workforce reduction will only last for seven days beginning Monday, February 15.

City Hall’s Monday flag ceremony is also suspended until further notice, according to city administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa in a text message to Palawan News.