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Ecija IATF orders closure of resorts, fairs, carnivals

CABANATUAN CITY – The Nueva Ecija Inter-Agency Task Force on Monday ordered the temporary closure of all resorts and amusement fairs or carnivals in Laur town as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

Ordered temporarily closed are carnivals in Bgy. Nauzon, Laur and those resorts operating along the Bato Ferry River in Bgy. San Juan, Laur and the Dupinga River in Gabaldon.

Provincial police director Col. Jaime O. Santos said he has directed his chiefs of police to inspect all amusement parks and resorts to make sure that health and safety protocols pertaining to the holding of mass gatherings are strictly implemented.

On Monday, disinfection was done by the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office in Bgy. San Lorenzo, Gapan city amid the surge of virus infections in the city. Also disinfected earlier were the city’s plaza and its famed “Little Vigan” or “Lumang Gapan,” which were ordered indefinitely closed by the NE-IATF due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

PDRRMO head Michael Calma led his team in conducting the disinfection in Gapan City. He described as “pandemic protocol violations” reports of alleged mass gatherings that occurred in the crowd-drawing sites of the city.

Meanwhile, Gov. Aurelio M. Umali, who was hit by COVID-19 on March 21 and is now recuperating at a hospital led a more than two-hour joint first quarter meeting via Zoom with the local special bodies of the province on March 25 at 2 p.m.

It was jointly participated by members of the provincial peace and order council, provincial task force to end local communist armed conflict, provincial anti-drug abuse council, PDRRMC, and the provincial food council.

Umali also earlier issued executive order 2021-002 dated March 17, requiring organizers to first secure prior written approval from the NE-IATF before holding mass gatherings throughout the province. He said the request for approval for such mass gathering must be submitted at least 10 days before its intended date.

In this city, Mayor Myca Elizabeth R. Vergara issued an advisory saying she has placed herself under voluntary self-quarantine after her driver and two staff members tested positive of COVID-19.

Maayos po ang aking kalagayan at sa ngayon po ay aking hinihintay ang resulta ng aking RT-PCR test sapagkat ako ay kinokonsidera na close contact nila,” she posted on the city government’s Facebook account on Sunday.

Vergara said the city’s COVID-19 active cases soared to 600 percent for the past two weeks from 11 cases as of March 11 to 78 positive cases on March 28, excluding those other cases still awaiting confirmatory RT-PCR test results from the city health office.

At the city hall compound, at least 24 positive cases were reported – seven at the city social welfare and development office; five at the city police station; four at the city mayor’s office; and one each at the city assessor’s; city disaster risk reduction and management; MV Gallego Cabanatuan City General Hospital; city planning and development; city economic enterprise and public utilities; local civil registry and city engineer’s office.