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Iloilo shuts down resorts, hotels to curb Covid cases

The Iloilo provincial government ordered the closure of resorts, hotels, bars, and parks effective today, May 22, until the end of the month to reduce the circulation of people amid the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019.

The temporary suspension of operation is mandated in Executive Order 163, issued by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. Thursday, “implementing adjusted community quarantine measures and health protocols in the foodservice industry and suspension of operation of facilities in tourism, recreation and accommodation establishments.”

In a press conference, he said that there is a need to make adjustments to reduce the circulation of people.

Identified as tourism, recreation, and accommodation establishments are beach and inland resorts, water, amusement, and ecological parks, hotels, tourist inns, motels, pension houses, apartment hotels, private homes used for homestay, eco-lodges, serviced apartments, condotels, and bed and breakfast establishments.

The facilities refer to swimming pools, cottages, beaches, playgrounds, game rooms, function rooms, dining halls, function rooms, food stations, dance halls, and bars.

“However, their basic board and lodging services will continue for our overseas Filipinos and returning residents,” Defensor said.

Meantime, the order also reduced to 50 percent the seating capacity of restaurants, fast-food chains, and food stalls offering dine-in service.

“That is what we intend to do so that significantly we can contribute to the reduction of circulation of people. We will reduce the events of transmission,” he added.

Another factor worrying the governor and the reason to come up with the order is the bed capacity of 10 hospitals in Iloilo City handling Covid-19 patients.

“Iloilo City is a regional center and hospitals cater to the province, city, and whole of Panay. We should adjust our community quarantine measures having that in mind – our available tertiary hospitals,” he said.

Data released by the city government showed that, as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, 144 patients with confirmed Covid-19 and 83 suspect cases are admitted in 10 hospitals.

A total of 33 beds are left available for Covid-19 and 378 for non-Covid patients.

The Iloilo Provincial Health Office data showed that, as of May 19, the province has 6,743 total cumulative cases with 690 active cases, 182 deaths, and 5,881 recoveries.*PNA

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