By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
The province of Sulu is bracing for a lockdown from January 4 to 17 amid the Covid-19 pandemic and residents based abroad or elsewhere in the country who want to go home or those who plan to leave the province have less than a week to finalize their decisions before local officials start closing the province borders, military officials said.
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said they have deployed troops to guard the borders of Sulu including Tawi-Tawi in the southernmost part of the Philippines to protect the areas against the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus reported in Sabah, Malaysia.
“This is upon the request of Sulu Gov. Abdusakur M. Tan amid the threats of new strain of Coronavirus that started in the United Kingdom and there was a report of this new variant of Coronavirus in Malaysia,” said Vinluan.
Vinluan said they are maximizing their capabilities to keep the contagion offshore.
“The command supports the decision of the provincial government of Sulu and we already deployed additional troops to secure the border and to disallow entry of passenger vessels from Sabah,” he added.
“The navy vessels of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao will conduct patrol in the maritime borders of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and the Zamboanga Peninsula to prevent the entry of inflicted individuals to our area of operation,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL