Since the confirmation of two positive coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the province, the provincial government is now requiring the wearing of face masks when going out in public areas.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc on Wednesday signed Executive Order No. Order 67-20 mandating the use of a face mask for all persons who leave their residences.
“The face mask must sufficiently cover one’s nose and mouth and must be worn at all times,” said the order which aims to increase the safety of people “where a minimum distance of one meter cannot be maintained”.
Anyone who violates the order shall be penalized under Republic Act 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.”
RA 11332 provides policies and measures for surveillance and response to notifiable diseases and protect Filipinos from any public health threats.
Due to the shortage of medical face masks, some of the residents create do-it-yourself face masks which they share mostly to front-liners manning Covid-19 checkpoints in all border points of the province.
Other local business owners donated materials for the making of improvised personal protective equipment to be used by front-liners, particularly those who work in hospitals.
Before the governor announced a total lockdown on Monday, shoppers in supermarkets and clients going to banks were already required by guards on duty to wear a face mask to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As of April 1, Ilocos Norte had a total of 1,820 persons under monitoring (PUM) who are being closely monitored by municipal and city health officials.
The two persons under investigation (PUI) are still awaiting results while the two confirmed Covid-19 cases are being strictly monitored at the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, a Department of Health-designated Covid-19 center in northern Luzon. (PNA)