PHOTO CAPTION: Once again, strict border control like the one at the northern Antique-Nabas border (above) is being enforced in Aklan province to help stem the rise of COVID-19 cases./iNEWS
KALIBO, Aklan–With the continued surge of coronavirus cases, the province of Aklan is more than willing to impose even more stringent measures and health protocols as the regional Inter-Agency Task Force would permit under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status, which the province is currently under.
This, according to Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores, in order to contain the fast transmission of the virus and to ease the health care system of the province.
However, he has yet to issue an executive order to further restrict the movements of residents especially in high risk areas to stem the spread of the virus.
The municipal mayors themselves were also alarmed by the increasing number of cases in six towns classified as high-risk.
Aklan recorded an additional 97 COVID-positives from June 7 to 8 with 43 infected people admitted to the hospital. Meanwhile, nine deaths were added to the toll between June 5 and 8.
Miraflores said they cannot afford to relax the restrictions or loosen the quarantine measures when the COVID-19 case trend is rising.
In fact, the province is classified as a moderate risk area based on the community quarantine matrix classification of the Department of Health on June 5, 2021.
Tagged as high-risk areas are Kalibo, Malay, Altavas, Lezo, Ibajay, and Balete; Malinao, Numancia, and New Washington are moderate-risk. The rest of the municipalities–Makato, Tangalan, Buruanga, Madalag, Nabas, Batan, Banga, and Libacao—are low-risk areas.
In a meeting on June 7, the provincial inter-agency task force recommended stricter travel restrictions and community quarantine protocols on non-essential travelers within and into the province of Aklan, increase the capacity of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and quarantine facilities, and decongest the quarantine facilities by assessing recovering patients.
Other recommendations are to enhance the prevention and detection, isolation, treatment, and reintegration strategies; ensure all suspect, probable, and confirmed cases are isolated in quarantine facilities, and heighten contact tracing within 24 hours after the release of positive COVID-19 test results.
COVID infections are dominant in the capital town of Kalibo with 97; Malay with 66; Ibajay, 62; Banga, 37; Batan, 36; Balete, 34; Nabas, 30; Numancia, 26, and New Washington and Altavas with 24 cases each.
Makato has 23 active cases; Buruanga, 12; Lezo, 8; Tangalan, 4, and Libacao with two cases as of June 7.
The wearing of face masks and face shields in public places continues to be enforced along with other minimum public health standards set such as the regular washing of hands with soap and water and social distancing to stem the transmission of coronavirus in workplaces and homes. (Boy Ryan Zabal/iNEWS-Aklan/Boracay Bureau)