AS IT STANDS | Roman Floresca
The city of Manila, the premier city of the Philippines, again takes the limelight in today’s newspapers. In an announcement made over the newspapers Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the city government will place six barangays under lockdown for four days to help contain the spread of Covid 19.
The six barangays include Tondo, Sampaloc, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Mesa, Pandacan and Paco. In addition, lockdowns will be enforced in villages with 10 or more active cases of COVID-19. Disease surveillance, contact tracing, swab tests as well as rapid risk assessment will also be enforced in these areas.
According to Moreno, enhanced community quarantine guidelines would be implemented in these barangays declared as “critical zones” during the lockdown period.
In addition police station commanders in these barangays were directed to deploy personnel to enforce health and safety protocols.
Residents are once again prohibited from going out of their homes. Only those with quarantine passes and workers with valid company IDs will be allowed to go out to buy food and other essentials. Violators will be required to do physical exercises.
Five more areas in Quezon City were placed under lockdown yesterday bringing the total to 21. The city government said the lockdowns cover only small areas and not entire barangays.
All households affected by the lockdown will undergo testing and will be not be allowed to leave for at least 14 days.
The city government said it will provide food and other supplies to the families affected by the granular lockdown.
Mayor Joy Belmonte has urged residents to follow health protocols. She also gave instructions for local enforcement personnel to strictly implement quarantine guidelines such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields in public places and compliance with curfew and social distancing.
Elsewhere, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi issued an executive order declaring two localities in his town under a 15-day extreme localized community quarantine until the morning of March 28. These became areas of concern due to a high attack rate of 150 cases per 1,000 individual population from Feb. 27 to March 6.
The areas are “congested and social distancing is not strictly followed,” Dr. Tet Tuliao, city health officer, said. Tuliao also noted that the areas have a high population of senior citizens, persons with disability and youth, who are all high-risk individuals.
Here we go again. Its almost a repeat of what we experienced the first time around. Let’s pray that this is only fleeting and will not escalate before the vaccine reaches us.