Iloilo lifts ban on returning residents, overseas workers


THE ILOILO City government has lifted the ban on returning residents, overseas workers, and other persons on essential travel starting Aug. 8 even as the city remains under a strict lockdown level.

“In no case shall travel for leisure be allowed,” reads an executive order signed by Mayor Jerry P. Trenas on Aug. 7.

The order also reiterates that mass gatherings remain prohibited until Aug. 15 while religious events may be conducted at 10% of the venue’s capacity.

Gatherings relating to the provision of health services, government services, or humanitarian activities authorized by the appropriate government agency are also allowed.

Iloilo City and the entire province of Iloilo are included in the Department of Health’s list of areas under high risk alert due a surge in cases as well as high utilization rate of medical facilities.

The city government, however, noted in a statement and data release that more than 50% of patients in the city’s hospitals are from the provinces of Iloilo, Antique, and Aklan. Iloilo City serves as the center of Western Visayas and hosts the region’s biggest hospitals.

Mr. Trenas last week requested the national task force handling the coronavirus response to allocate more vaccines to the city given its position.

“We are definitely asking for more vaccines as an urgent need to achieve herd immunity faster,” he said on Friday.

“Our vaccination roll-out is working efficiently, still only 24.49% of our target population has been vaccinated,” he added.

The mayor cited that with the 10,000 to 15,000 current daily inoculation rates of Iloilo City, the remaining vaccines would only last until Aug. 19.

“The city also inoculates non-residents working here,” he said. — MSJ

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