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Shopping malls close again in General Santos as ‘massive’ rise of covid-19 felt

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – As the city is reverting to the stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) starting today, May 25, City Mayor Ronnel Rivera has ordered shopping malls and other “non-essential” establishments to temporarily close until June 30.

Mayor Rivera told reporters the decision to close some businesses was made due to “massive community transmission” of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19).

The mayor issued the executive order last Monday purposely to restrict movements of residents, and in a way, minimize person-to-person contact after massive rise of the covid-19 infections were observed recently.

The mayor said based on reports made by the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, local hospitals catering to covid patients have already reached their full capacity as of May 22. (Sunday)

Mayor Rivera in a press conference yesterday said: “Our neighboring localities are also experiencing the same situation and this is very difficult for all of us.”

Based on the mayor’s executive order, existing measures are in effect which include “no movement Sunday,” border lockdown and total liquor ban, as well as other restrictions

Menwhile, City Administrator Lawyer Arnel Zapatos added that majority of the businesses and industries in General Santos City may continue to operate following stricter guidelines by the national IATF in GCQ areas.

The City Administrator clarified that shopping malls, except for their grocery sections, will be closed down and eateries, restaurants, fast food outlets and other food-related establishments are only allowed to accept orders for “take out and delivery.”

He said the 26 barangays of the city will be divided again into three clusters purposely to limit the movement of people and this includes public and private transportation.

Zapatos said each cluster is given only two days every week, except on Sundays, to access for food and other essential supplies.

He said the curfew hours will continue from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and the ban on liquor is also extended until June 30.

He said starting June 1, border entries are only allowed for essential travel and all travelers from outside of Region 12 (Soccksargen) will be required to submit negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test results for Covid-19. – PNA


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