Bukidnon governor weeps as IATF classifies Normin as low-risk area for Covid-19

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By Gerry Lee Gorit, Correspondent
May 14, 2020

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CAGAYAN de Oro City--Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. wept after the Inter-Agency Task Force for emerging infectious disease (IATF) issued resolution 35 that classified Northern Mindanao as a low-risk area due to its low number of Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) cases.

Following the downgrading of Northern Mindanao’s status from general community quarantine (GCQ) to low-risk, Zubiri Jr. has asked the national government to restore the province’s reclassification for fear that Covid-19 cases will increase in his area of jurisdiction.

Under the low-risk status, local governments are ordered to adopt a minimum health requirements and to loosen their community quarantine protocols.

This new order prompted the Bukidnon provincial board to pass resolution 2020-1317 appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte and the IATF “to retain and extend under the [GCQ] status and be authorized to observe and maintain the GCQ protocols in its quarantine control points in the boundaries of the province of Bukidnon.”

He said that lifting the GCQ would put the people of the province in danger of the coronavirus contagion since some areas it shared a boundary with like the cities of Davao and Cagayan de Oro have Covid-19 cases.

As of press time, Bukidnon has only one confirmed Covid-19 case, a barangay leader from Valencia City who attended a cockfighting derby in Matina, Davao City.

Zubiri said they followed every order that Duterte gave to the police and that they are proud to say that they are successful.

“Please listen to the people of Bukidnon,” he told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday.

He said the President must consider his plea as Bukidnon is considered as the heart of Mindanao.

Later on Wednesday (May 13), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año announced that those areas declared as low-risk would be placed under the modified GCQ.

According to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, under the GCQ movement, like resumption of work, goes back to normal but “new normal” practices such as wearing of mask, social distancing, and other health protocols will be enforced.


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