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Governance Pandemic

Zamboanga City clamps down border amid rising COVID-19 cases

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ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines

Zamboanga City will re-impose stringent requirements for inbound travellers by requiring the negative result of RT-PCR test regardless of vaccination status especially for those coming from areas with higher alert level status beginning Wednesday, January 12.

It is necessary for the city government to implement stricter measures to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco said during Monday’s virtual flag raising ceremony.

Climaco said last December the city had experienced zero new cases in a day, but the situation has changed with the rising of reported COVID-19 cases.

“We have an average of 31 cases the last few days,” she noted.

As of January 6, Zamboanga City has 101 active COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases to 22, 655 with 21, 446 recoveries. The death toll stands at 1, 108.

For inbound travels coming from areas with higher alert level status, a traveller has to present a negative result of RT-PCR test, vaccination card or certificate, S-Pass, and valid ID.

In the absence of RT-PCR test result, the passenger has to present a negative result of the Rapid Antigen Test issued by a facility accredited by the Department of Health (DOH).

The requirements are less stringent for travellers coming from areas of the same alert level status with the city. Zamboanga City remains at Alert Level 2.

The new requirements for inbound travel to the city will not affect the residents of Zamboanga Sibugay, Ipil businessman Roseller Briones said.

“The province has the same alert level status with Zamboanga City, which will not affect our travel to the city,” Briones said.

But that is for now, he warned, adding the situation might change in a matter of weeks with the rising cases of COVID-19 cases.

Climaco continues to call on the people to get vaccinated, assuring the vaccines are safe. Zamboanga City has already inoculated some 87% of the target eligible population of 694, 696 as of January 7. It has also administered booster shots to 22, 687 individuals. – The Sun Monitor

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