MAASIN CITY, May 6 (PIA) -- Barangay officials in 24 out of 70 barangays with fiesta celebrations within this fiesta month of May are under strict orders by the City Inter-agency Task Force (CIATF) to implement the city’s Executive Order No. 23 that prohibits such activities.

A total liquor ban pursuant to the same EO 23 was also enjoined to be strictly enforced.

The renewed, strengthened move was intended “to control the further transmission of Covid-19,” City Mayor Nacional Mercado explained in his Facebook post.

“The Covid-19 Task Force and Compliance Team informed the officials of barangay Bilibol today, May 6, 2021, to implement the full extent of the said EO especially that their annual fiesta will be held tomorrow (May 7),” Mayor Mercado said.

Offenders can be charged for violation of RA 11332 in relation to Article 151 of the revised penal code; or they can be slapped with the crime of simple disobedience to a person in authority, “or any other existing laws pertinent to the declaration of the State of Health Crisis of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.”

The serious tone of the latest imposition followed a triple double surge of confirmed cases in the city last month, prompting a return to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status this month, while the rest of the province is under MGCQ.

The date May 15 tops the number of the most fiesta celebrated at ten barangays, followed by May 20 with three barangays, and May 29, two barangays, while the remaining nine (9) other dates have one barangay each.

Religious novena, however, went on with limited participation by the faithful.

With the experience of India, the fear was that such crowd-drawing days may become spreader events for the Covid virus, hence strict vigilance was ordered.

As of today, May 6, Maasin City has 484 confirmed cases, 424 of them have recovered, while there are 53 individuals as active cases, and there were seven deaths, Mayor Mercado posted. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)