COTABATO CITY: Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Covid-19 will implement General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) starting on May 1, 2020.
This is in accordance with the recently released guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), wherein low-risk and moderate-risk areas in the country shall be placed under GCQ.
BARMM Cabinet Secretary and Bangsamoro IATF Spokesperson Mohd Asnin Pendatun said Tuesday, April 28, that the region is currently classified under moderate-risk in terms of Covid-19 transmission, since case [Covid-19] “doubling time is not yet evident.”
“Hindi naman ganoon kabilis case doubling time natin sa Covid-confirmed cases. Ang three provinces (island provinces) natin sa region ay wala pa ring reported na Covid-confirmed cases,” Pendatun assured.
The provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur are considered moderate-risk areas, since both have reported Covid-confirmed cases; while, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi remain to have zero case, and are considered low-risk areas.
‘The New Normal’
Meanwhile, with the implementation of GCQ in the country, the Malacañang Palace announced on Monday, April 27, that GCQ will be the “new normal” unless a vaccine for Covid-19 is ready.
With this, BARMM shall also adopt the “new normal” through implementing GCQ guidelines, such as wearing of masks, restrictions for loitering, and presentation of valid identification (ID) cards for age verification.
Under the guidelines of the GCQ, young (0-20 years old), senior citizens (60 and up), and high health risk individuals should stay at home; non-workers are allowed to go out to buy goods and services except those pertaining to Sector Category IV (leisure and kids); public transport modes will resume to operate at reduced capacity; LGUs will enforce curfew at night for non-workers; and priority and essential construction projects will be allowed to resume operation.
“Should the number of infections continue to decline, our GCQ may not be necessarily lifted, but, relaxed by May 16, 2020,” Pendatun said.
However, Pendatun stated that GCQ in Bangsamoro region may be temporary and may still fall under ECQ if Covid-19 cases start to spike.
“Hindi rin po ibig sabihin na dahil GCQ tayo, wala nang possibility na tayo ay maging ECQ, kasi kapag nakita na dumami o dumoble ang Covid-19 cases sa ating region or other parts of the region, there’s a possibility na mapasok tayo sa ECQ,” Pendatun stressed.
As of writing, there are ten (10) Covid-confirmed cases in the region, nine (9) from Lanao del Sur, and one (1) from Maguindanao.
Of these confimed cases, five (5) have already recovered, 2 are currently admitted, and three (3) died.
Bureau of Public Information