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Truck ban enforced as city shifts to GCQ

The city government has enforced a truck ban as part of the general community quarantine (GCQ) measures starting yesterday.

Mayor Sara Duterte said on Monday over the Davao City Disaster Radio that the truck ban will be implemented starting 12:01 a.m. of May 19 to help decongest the city’s traffic as more vehicles are expected to ply the roads on the shift to GCQ.

“There is congestion on our roads and there are already many vehicles on our roads,” she said.

She said the frontliners manning the checkpoints would be overwhelmed by the number of vehicles they need to check, particularly during the rush hour.

“They are having a difficult time to check who are those that should be allowed to travel because all of them have quarantine pass or because they are employees exempted under the general community quarantine,” Duterte said.

The truck ban restricts trucks from the identified major thoroughfares of the city from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tough screening

Meanwhile, all individuals entering Davao City will be subjected to a health screening upon arrival.

The health screening will determine whether a person entering the city should be sent for a RT-PCR (Rapid Test – Polymerase Chain Reaction) test at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), a dedicated quarantine facility, or undergo for a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Short-stay individuals and workers coming in and out every day will also be subjected to the same health screening every time they enter the city, “but they are not mandated to be quarantined.”

“They shall, however, be sent to the SPMC if they fail the health screening,” the local government said.

Also, the entry to Davao City during the GCQ will only be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Saturday due to the limited number of “qualified health personnel to conduct the health screening.”

Meanwhile, the city government also clarified that anybody who intend to travel outside the city can go outside of Davao City anytime. “[T]he Omnibus Guidelines do not require the City Government to issue travel orders to individuals who intend to go out of the city,” it said.

Under Section 7 (6) of Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Omnibus Guidelines dated May 15,2020, it states that “the movement of persons across areas placed under GCQ and MGCQ for any purpose other than leisure shall be permitted.”

But the public should expect long lines at the checkpoints and airport, which is why they should avoid making unnecessary trips.

Davao City currently holds the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Davao region. On May 18, the Department of Health (DOH)-Center for Health and Development reported 15 more new positive cases in the city, bringing a total of 215 cases in the region.

The DOH-Davao bared that the new cases were all from Barangay 23-C, which is also one of the five barangays recently marked by the Davao City government as a “very high risk” area because of the notable number of COVID-19 cases in the area.

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