Tondo District 1 hard lockdown ends; 109 residents test positive for COVID-19

Published May 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


By Minka Klaudia Tiangco

Over 100 residents of the first district in Tondo, Manila tested positive for the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) in the mass rapid testing done by the city government during the imposition of a hard lockdown in the area.

The 48-hour hard lockdown in Tondo District 1, that was enforced starting on Sunday, May 3, was lifted at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5.

The Manila City government said it finished performing a total of 1,451 tests using rapid test kits in a single day during the hard lockdown, exceeding their initial target of testing 1,000 residents.

Of this number, 109 residents tested positive and were sent to the Delpan Quarantine Facility to undergo confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and isolation. Their swab samples were later turned over to the Philippine General Hospital and the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center for processing.

Earlier, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the city government partnered with Project ARK to bring massive rapid testing in the Philippine capital.

The organization, that is composed of experts in the economic and business fields, advocates for mass testing using Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved rapid test kits to identify and isolate persons who have contracted COVID-19. Doing so will lead to the fast and safe reopening of businesses in the country, they said.

It can be recalled that several Department of Health (DOH) officials said they do not recommend the use of rapid test kits as it can produce “false positive and negative results.”

While the PCR-based test, dubbed as the “gold standard by the health department, determines the presence of the virus in swabs taken from patients, rapid test kits only identify the antibodies found in blood samples.

However, Domagoso said having results, even “false” ones, is better than nothing.

“Getting them as soon as possible, at least there is what you call probability that you get accurate results, instead of not doing anything and not getting any results, whether accurate or inaccurate,” he said in a virtual press briefing on Sunday.

“The more COVID-19 positive patients that we manage to isolate, the better to prevent the spread. We guarantee you that we are doing this until we isolate every COVID-19 positive patient that we have,” he added.

Meanwhile, 281 quarantine violators were also apprehended during the two-day hard lockdown.

Data from the Manila Police District (MPD) showed that 25 minors who are included in this figure were sent to barangay officials to be returned to their parents.

Police said that the arrested adult violators will undergo inquest proceedings.

The Manila mayor recently said that the city government is mulling the possibility of putting other areas in the city under hard lockdown after this, particularly San Andres, Malate, and Sta. Cruz.

He also said earlier that the district with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and number of quarantine violators will be the next to be put under hard lockdown.

As of Monday evening, there are now 770 COVID-19 cases in the country’s capital with 114 recoveries and 73 deaths.