ILOILO CITY—Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. wants to implement a stricter reverse isolation police to battle the local transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Iloilo province from people working or coming from Iloilo City.

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Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. speaks during a press conference. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

“We cannot impose inter-zonal restrictions because the economy of the city and province of Iloilo are dependent on each other,” said Defensor in a press conference.

The reverse isolation policy encourages individuals coming from areas of Iloilo City considered as high-risk to COVID-19 exposure by minimizing their contacts with others once they go home to any of the 42 towns or the component city of Passi.

Reverse isolation is applied to those who have had prolonged stay in hospitals, health facilities or work places.

Defensor said the Iloilo Provincial Health Office has found that 65 percent of COVID-19 cases in the towns can be traced to those who came back from Iloilo City, which has seen a spike in the number of of locally transmitted cases since August.

Reverse isolation also encourages the use of separate utensils and other personal belongings to reduce risk of transmission.

Defensor is also eyeing to have additional policies, including discouraging non-family members from attending receptions for birthdays, weddings, baptisms, or funerals when these are held at houses, where area are small, and there are no spaces to practice physical distancing.

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