By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso ordered for the entire first district of the country’s capital to be placed on hard lockdown from 5 a.m. on Sunday, May 3, to 5 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5.
Domagoso on April 30, Thursday, signed Executive Order No. 22, authorizing the lockdown so members of the Manila Health Department can conduct disease surveillance, verification or testing, and rapid risk assessment in Tondo District 1.
Those who will test positive during the rapid testing will undergo confirmatory swab testing at nearby designated testing sites, including Rosauro Almario Elementary School, Timoteo Paez Integrated School, Tondo High School, and Isabelo delos Reyes Elementary School.
In his city address on the evening of April 29, the Manila mayor said they moved to put the district on lockdown due to the rising number of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases and quarantine violators in the area.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Tondo District 1 has 83 confirmed COVID-19 cases, making it the second district in the city with the highest number of cases, next to the 106 cases in Sampaloc, which was the first district in the city to be placed under a 48-hour lockdown.
Earlier, Barangay 20 in Tondo District 1 was put on a 24-hour lockdown after the city government received reports that residents continued to engage in leisure activities, such as boxing and bingo, despite the enhanced community quarantine.
The local chief executive also said that they are mulling over the possibility of putting other areas in the city, namely San Andres, Malate, and Sta. Cruz, under hard lockdown.
During the hard lockdown, no one will be allowed to leave their houses except health workers and persons who have a medical emergency, law enforcers, government workers, and service workers from pharmacies, funeral home establishments, public utility companies, delivery, banking, and media.
Vendors in the Divisoria area within Barangays 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 will also be allowed to continue selling goods in accordance with the time and place prescribed by the city government, the executive order read.
Those who are not residing in Tondo District 1 but are included in the exemptions mentioned will also be permitted to go within the said area.
“With respect to non-residents of District 1 of Tondo, Manila, passing through the said district may be allowed provided the non-resident is an authorized person outside residence (APOR) in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) guidelines,” the executive order read.
“Performance of essential services within the said locality by non-residents of District 1 of Tondo, Manila, such as delivery of food as well as maintenance and repair of electric, telecommunications, water, sanitation, and transport facilities may be allowed,” it added.
All commercial, industrial, retail, institutional, and other activities not mentioned in the exemptions will be temporarily suspended during the lockdown.
Domagoso said elements of the Manila Police District (MPD) and barangay officials will be deployed to ensure the proper implementation of the lockdown. Up to five holding areas for violators are also being prepared.
The Manila mayor added that around 140,166 families in the said area will receive food packs days before the lockdown is enforced.
The Philippine capital now has a total of 669 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 61 deaths and 90 recoveries as of April 29 afternoon.