MASANTOL -- The local government here is beefing up its measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the municipality.

Mayor Danilo Guintu signed Executive Order No. 34 S. 2020, which aims to address the growing number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in town.

The mayor said the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases grew to 15 as of Monday, September 7, 2020, less than a month since it recorded its first case on August 10.

From the total number, eight are still active and seven have already recovered and were discharged from isolation facilities.

The number of cases is spread in seven barangays located at either the town's metro plaza and left and right bank portions.

"We must step up our measures so we can prevent the further spread of the virus in our community and protect our people from contracting the disease. Prevention is still much better than cure," said Guintu.

Under the EO which took effect Monday, the use of home quarantine pass (HQP) for persons accessing essential and basic goods and services is reimposed anew.

Only those with accredited HQPs are allowed to go out and be entertained on any business establishments, apart from employees who have returned to work as permitted under national inter-agency task force guidelines.

Strict border control points are also continuously being implemented to ensure that only residents and those with official business in town can enter the municipality.

Rolling stores and ambulant vendors who are not residents here will likewise not be allowed to enter the municipality.

"Anybody can be a silent carrier of the virus now so we are limiting the movement of people as much as possible to accessing essential goods and activities only," Guintu said.

The purchase, distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages are also banned until further notice to prevent any forms of social gathering.

Expanded curfew hours from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day is also implemented with an exemption for workers provided that they present valid company identification cards (IDs).

The practice of social distancing and wearing face masks when outside of residence also remains necessary.

"We were able to prevent the entry of virus for more than a hundred days through strict implementation of health and security measures and we are hopeful that we can also contain the virus via the same practice," the mayor said.