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24-hr Bohol-wide COVID curfew shields minors, over 65 seniors

By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA-Bohol | 10:39 AM March 26, 2020

Getting more pro-active and aggressive in the looming and spreading threat of the virulent Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that has exposed rich countries on their lack of preparation for the disease, Governor Arthur Yap imposes a 24-hour province-wide curfew for older senior citizens and minors.

The move is to curb the potential spread of the virus that has caused numerous deaths in areas where it has spread, and to effectively isolate these vulnerable groups from the infection which can either be fatal to them, or them scattering the virus exponentially in Bohol where facilities are clearly wanting.

While persons who are older than 65 years old mentioned in Executive Order No. 16, series of 2020 and signed by the governor March 21, clearly protects the aged who are at high risk of infection, the prohibition on persons below 18 years is a pro-active step to deny the virus the chance to find a host as the young are notably the most mobile.

The province-wide 24-hours curfew of all residents who are over 65 and below 18 to shield them from the effects of the COVID-19, also takes into account the ballooned Patients Under Monitoring in Bohol.

It may be recalled that last March 12 onwards, Bohol officials and employees including members of the Philippine Councilors League were in manila and were exposed to the possible infection.

Bohol has also implemented a mandatory self-quarantine to all returning Boholanos beginning March 12 and until March 15, when Bohol closes its doors and denies entry to anyone coming in.

In the Executive Order, the governor figured out that even with 5 percent of the present number of PUMs in Bohol graduate to Severe Accute Respiratory Illness (SARI) and Moderate Accute Respiratory Illness, Bohol’s private and public hospitals will reach and critical point of being unable to address the situation.

That, the governor fears, would worsen the SARI and MARIs cases into the dreaded COViD-19 infection.

According to the Executive Order 16, these persons may leave their households only for medical emergencies, to undergo routine medical procedures for chronic illnesses, while those minors can only come out of their residences from home quarantine if they can show proof that they are volunteering for medical work.

As President Rodrigo Duterte, through Proclamation No. 922, declared a state of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines, he also caused all local government units and agencies to render full assistance and cooperation and to mobilize necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent and appropriate responses and measures in timely manner to curtail the spread of the virus.

Here, the governor called on barangay officials and law enforcement agencies to strictly implement and enforce the order.

In all cases, all persons who leave their households must present valid identification cards, indicating their dates of birth and employment identification.

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