Coronavirus in Aklan Province, Philippines

There have been handfuls of COVID-19 cases around the island of Panay, Philippines. Several weeks ago, Iloilo Province and the city by the same name had pockets of cases. And now, it’s been confirmed in Kalibo, the capital of Aklan province, and also in Malay, the municipality where we live, and on Boracay Island, which is part of Malay and where we frequently visit.

Coronavirus in Aklan

Boracay case

The Boracay case wasn’t really in news reports that I saw. The case was confirmed in early September after a test taken weeks earlier in mid-August. The test had been sent out for confirmation.

A lot can happen in a few weeks, but, as of now, there are no other reported cases on Boracay. Presumably, there are no cases of local transmission.

The official details from the Malay Inter-Agency Task Force are below. (Click to enlarge.)

Malay stays open

As of September 12, Malay Municipality is not going to lock down. The acting mayor vetoed a motion by the city council to shut the borders in light of local transmission cases in Kalibo. (I wrote about those a few days ago — see more on those cases here.)

It seems the council wanted to lock down the municipality (like an American county) out of fear of local transmission.

The veto essentially means we will not be confined to our home or barangay like we were back in March.

Masks and shields are mandatory on all public transportation; social distancing and hand washing are strongly encouraged.

The acting mayor’s order is below. (Click to enlarge; veto language at the end.)

Kalibo cases

As of September 12, we can still travel to Kalibo, despite confirmed local transmission cases. However, there are two neighborhoods locked down due to positive COVID-19 cases, according to an official government account.

By the way – I am only citing ‘official government’ sources on this blog post because the punishment for spreading false information is severe. I don’t want to inadvertently give false info.

My husband has asked me to stay away from Kalibo this week. I will make a decision soon.

The Kalibo areas under lockdown are in a barangay (like a village) nowhere near where I normally go on my visits to the capital, but I realize that offers little consolation to people who are worried about this virus.

For the record, I’m not worried about it. But out of respect for others, I wear masks and social distance and the rest.

I have other things to worry about. Like where I will get my tamoxifen (my post-breast cancer prevention drug) because I’m running low again, and the last time I bought it I had to go to Kalibo to get it.

My Kalibo trips

I have gone to Kalibo once a week for a couple of months. The main reason is to visit a friend who lives there. I have lunch and hang out at his lovely home in his serenity garden.

While I am there, I shop for odds and ends that are not easily procured in Caticlan or Boracay, the biggest urban areas in Malay Municipality closest to us. Once, I made a special trip to pick up my medicine.

If I do go to Kalibo in the coming days, I will try to secure more medicine. While Kalibo isn’t locked down as of this writing, things can change fast in this ‘new normal’. An odd thing about lock downs: the public is always given notice of at least a day, often as many as a few days.

And, if I go to Kalibo, I can minimize my contact with others by taking the bus, which is usually mostly empty. Pictured below on the left, you can see the Ceres bus offers more social distancing than the passenger vans. That’s me in a passenger van pictured below on the right before other passengers sat down behind me.

It’s all a crap shoot, anyway. That’s why I’m not too worried about it for myself. Having survived alcoholism and breast cancer, I know there is only so much I can control.

Besides, with all of the coughing by other people that’s been going on for months around me – perhaps we’ve already had the virus.

Thanks for reading, “Coronavirus in Aklan Province, Philippines.”

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Coronavirus in Aklan Province, Philippines

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