EXTENDED GCQ. Photo taken in downtown area Tacloban City on May 4. The city will remain under general community quarantine until May 31 despite zero cases of coronavirus disease 2019. (Photo courtesy of Tacloban Today)

TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas (Region 8) remained under general community quarantine (GCQ), along with other areas across the country with a low transmission rate of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a press statement on Saturday, the Department of Health (DOH) 8 director Minerva Molon reminded the public not to be complacent as some regulations to contain the spread of Covid-19 will be eased to keep the economy afloat.

Based on the omnibus guidelines for community quarantine issued by the national inter-agency task force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, minimum public health standards will be implemented for the duration of GCQ until May 31.

Movement of people and transportation are still limited, as well as regulation of operating industries and other business establishments.

Region 8 was placed under enhanced community quarantine in mid-March which was downgraded to GCQ starting the middle of April and now extended up to May 31.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, a total of 25 cases have been confirmed in Region 8, the lowest in the Visayas, and the fourth-lowest in the country, the DOH said.

Of the total confirmed cases, 20 are from Tarangnan, Samar; two from Burauen Leyte; and one each from Catarman, Northern Samar, and the cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog, both in Samar.

To date, the region has 17 active cases admitted in hospitals, four under 14-day home isolation after their latest samples have tested negative, and four full recoveries with zero death.

“We will not let our guard down and keep our preventive measures in place. Let us contain the spread of the virus by changing our behavior and adapt to the new normal environment,” Molon said.

The health department advised the public to stay at home, especially children, senior citizens, and those at high risk of infection, observe physical distancing, wear face masks when outdoors, practice proper cough manners, wash hands frequently, and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

“Let us not also discriminate our patients, health workers, and other front-liners,” Molon said.

As of Saturday, the DOH is monitoring 1,340 suspected carriers in the region; of whom 63 are admitted and 1,277 are on strict home isolation. (PNA)