Since start of the pandemic

TACLOBAN CITY-The town of Jipapad in Eastern Samar province remains to be the only area in the region  to report a zero case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
And they hope to maintain their clean record even until vaccines against the ailment would be available, Neil Norambaba, local disaster risk reduction management officer, said.
“We really hope that we can maintain our status as a COVID-free area, especially that we don’t have the capacity to buy our own vaccine,” he said in a phone interview.
The town, which has a population of more than 9,000 spread on its 13 barangays, is considered to be a fifth class with P71 million in income.
According to Norambaba, one possible factor why Jipapad has no COVID-19 case since the start of the pandemic last March, could be its geographical location.
Jipapad is among the far-flung towns in Eastern Samar-16 kms away from its nearest town of Arteche, also in Eastern Samar, and around 10 kms away from its neighboring town of Lapinig in Northern Samar.
It is also more than 40 kms away from the provincial capital of Borongan City.
The nearest the town, which has more than 9,000 population spread on its 13 barangays, could have been infected of the dreaded virus was when one its residents who works in Hernani town, also in Eastern Samar, was tested positive.
The town is more than 140 kms away from the provincial capital of Borongan City.
“But he was considered to be case of Hernani still his family members here in Jipapad were swabbed and they all turned negative,”Norambaba said.
Norambaba said that aside from its remote location, discipline among its people could also be considered as a factor as they follow strictly the health protocols like the wearing of face masks and face shields and the implementation of curfew hours starting from 10 pm until 5 am.
Returning locally stranded individuals (LSIs), around 200 of them have returned so far, are immediately quarantine for 14 days inside their quarantine facilities and another 10 days at their respective homes.
“We don’t allow any merchants coming from other areas to roam around in our town. They can peddle their merchandise at our checkpoint or border to minimize contacts,” Norambaba said.
Outsiders allowed to enter the town like classified as APORs (authorized persons outside of residence) have to present their health certificate and their movements monitored.