GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government has sealed off its “sea borders” to prevent the entry of fishermen and travelers from Indonesia due to the threats posed by the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Delta variant.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Thursday they have alerted their coastal barangays against “backdoor” movements of people who have passed by or originated from nearby Indonesian islands.
He said these include local fishermen and crew members of fishing boats that are operating in the international waters.
Crew members of returning fishing boats as well as travelers should be subjected to proper testing and quarantine as a precautionary measure, he said.
“We have to implement these protocols strictly to protect our city against that (Delta) variant,” Rivera told reporters.
He said the city government earlier placed under strict monitoring at least seven local fishermen who were repatriated late last month from Indonesia after being detained for nearly a year due to illegal fishing violations.
The fishermen underwent 14-day mandatory quarantine in a barangay isolation unit and were subjected to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, which eventually turned out negative, he said.
The national government has already included Indonesia in the current travel ban due to the surging cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant, which was first detected in India and has spread to various countries.
Rivera said they already coordinated with maritime law enforcement units, including the Philippine Coast Guard, to ensure the proper monitoring of the area’s coastal waters.
Also being watched are local ports for boats servicing the sea route from the city to Balut Island in Davao Occidental.
Travelers and traders from the North Sulawesi in Indonesia and nearby islands had long been using the route in entering the area. (PNA)