CAUGHT. Alert personnel from the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) intercept three inbound travelers from Basilan province as they try to enter Zamboanga City without the required negative RT-PCR test result on Monday (Sept. 4, 2021). The ZCPO has tightened its watch on all entry points as part of measures to contain the surge in Covid-19 cases. (Photo courtesy of the ZCPO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Personnel of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) have intercepted two men and a woman who entered this city through a private wharf without the required negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.

The three were caught on Monday, the same day Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, local Inter-Agency Task Force on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) chief implementer, ordered an intensified crackdown on health protocol violators amid the surge in Covid-19 cases here.

Col. Rexmel Reyes, ZCPO director, on Tuesday said the three, whose identities were withheld, arrived aboard a motorboat from Basilan that attempted to dock at a secluded wharf in Barangay Baliwasan.

Reyes said policemen patrolling the area directed the boat crew and passengers to return to their place of origin or face sanctions as stipulated under Executive Order 674-2021 issued by the city mayor.

EO 674-2021 signed by Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar requires all inbound travelers to present negative RT-PCR test results upon entry to this city.

“We have deployed personnel to private wharves to check on travelers from the nearby provinces. This forms part of the preventive measures against Covid-19,” Reyes said.

Meanwhile, Reyes announced that they have recorded Monday a total of 186 health safety protocol violations.

He said that these were as follows: 16 for non-wearing of facemask; five for violation of safety distancing; 27 for violation of curfew hour; 61 no quarantine pass or valid identification card (ID); and, 77 unauthorized persons outside their residences.

“Every resident of the city is urged to fully support and cooperate with authorities to be safe and protected against Covid-19. No one is safe until everyone is safe,” Salazar said. (PNA)