LAST PROVINCE STANDING: Guimaras fights to remain COVID-19-free

More stringent quarantine measures will be imposed on Guimaras to keep it free from the coronavirus disease 2019. (DG File)

The Province of Guimaras will be placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine beginning April 15, 2020 as the island strengthens control over its borders to prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Governor Samuel T. Gumarin signed Executive Order No. 43 raising the Response Level implemented by the province from Level 1 to Level 2 of the Guimaras COVID-19 Response Initiative.

Gumarin said that since Guimaras is the only province in Western Visayas that remains free of the disease, it is essential to tighten human traffic to and from the province.

The initiative aims to protect the Guimarasnons from the disease as the province is vulnerable given the limited capacity of its health care system according to Gumarin.

Hugton naton ini. Bantayan naton ang borders sang aton probinsya. Kinahanglan naton protektahan ang Guimaras nga kun mahimo indi makasulod sa aton isla ang COVID-19. Ang apelar ko lang sa mga Guimarasnon, bululigan naton ini,” Gumarin said.

Under Level 2 Response, entry to different ports of Guimaras will be limited.

Returning residents of the province will only be allowed entry if they do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms but will comply with the mandatory quarantine regulations.

Non-residents who will enter Guimaras will only be allowed entry if the purpose of travel is to transport basic commodities and necessities and for emergency cases that may result to loss of life, liberty or property provided that they are certified cleared from COVID by the designated health authority and shall be issued an inbound pass.

Outbound travels of Guimarasnons will also be limited only to medical referrals and travels for emergency purposes allowed provided they have valid IDs and Quarantine Pass.

For non-residents who will leave the island, only those that have In-bound Pass will be allowed to travel.

Trips of motorbancas and Ro-Ro vessels plying the Guimaras – Iloilo route (vice versa) will be significantly reduced.

Business hours for establishments, except those that are considered essential, will be reduced.

Public transportations will also be regulated to abide the guidelines set by the Department of Health for physical distancing to mitigate the spread of the virus.