Four months into the COVID-19 quarantine, as urban centers grapple to contain rising infections, the same number of areas remain free of the disease and two of them could be on your bucket list: Batanes with its rolling terrain and Aurora, known for surfing and heritage.
Two others made it to the list: Quirino province in the northeast and the remote Dinagat Islands. Unless the areas are geographically isolated, they need to strictly enforce containment protocols, DOH Director Beverly Ho said.
Inter-province travel, however, still has some restrictions and some areas require virus screening or quarantines. For now, the government allows only essential travel.
“Bukod po sa pagiging isolated dahil isla po ang iba sa mga probinsyang ito, ipinagmamalaki po namin ang balitang ito at inaanyayahan na patuloy po nating ipagpatuloy ang mga measures na kanilang nasimulan,” she said in a virtual briefing.
(Aside from some of these provinces being isolated because they are islands, we are proud of this news and we encourage them to continue the implementation of the measures they’ve already started.)
While being isolated geographically prevented the spread of the novel coronavirus in those areas, Ho said the efforts of the local authorities also contributed to this feat. People coming home from other areas are screened, she said.
“Basically, talagang heightened po ‘yung vigilance nila at patuloy po ‘yung kanilang pagkampanya to do the minimum health standards sa kanilang mga lugar,” she added.
(Basically, they have heightened vigilance and they continue to campaign for minimum health standards.)
As of July 22, the Philippines has recorded 72,296 COVID-19 cases with 23,623 recoveries and 1,843 casualties.