Issue of September 6, 2020
     
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On easing up of restrictions: ‘Socialize, but w/ distancing’
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Restrictions on movement in Baguio have been further eased up starting Aug. 31 as the city government allowed residents to go out of homes with their family members for physical activities and socialize with friends.

Mall schedules have been suspended, though entry to the city public market remains on assigned schedules by district until further notice. The liquor ban has also been lifted as of Sept. 1.

Despite the easing up of restrictions, Mayor Benjamin Magalong is replete with reminders for people to keep their guards up and continue applying the minimum health standards at all times.

“Covid-19 is still here and we should always take the necessary precautions – whether it be at home, at work, or while we are going about with our daily activities. We must forge on by learning to live with this virus. I understand that one needs food for sustenance, but we cannot count out the positive effects of physical activity and the company of friends and family,” Magalong said in an advisory issued Aug. 29.

As families may now go out, he reminded them to be mindful of health standards and protocols.

“If it is not essential, or if it is an area where your family members may be exposed to risks of Covid-19 transmission, then let us err on the side of caution and just stay home. When at home, wash your hands, change clothes before spending time with family, disinfect your doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces in the home, and monitor each other for flu-like symptoms,” he said.

The mayor said greater care should be afforded to senior citizens and immuno-compromised persons to ensure they have minimum exposure to health risks.

In lifting the liquor ban, Magalong urged everyone to drink responsibly and refrain from sharing glasses and utensils.

“Socialize, but do so with social distancing. The Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force should not be constrained to implement a third liquor ban,” he said.

Baguio, among other local government units nationwide, remains under moderate general community quarantine until Sept. 30 based on the latest recommendations of the national IATF.

While under low risk, the city government continues issuing lockdown orders of barangays where Covid-19 cases are recorded to allow conduct of contract tracing and prevent virus transmission.

Seven barangays are on lockdown as of Sept. 2. The number reached as high as 39 barangays on lockdown last Aug. 16 when cases surged last month.

As of Sept. 2, the city has 357 Covid-19 cases, of which 84 are active, 263 have recovered, and 10 died.


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