By Jean Fernando
Several streets or sitios in two barangays in Parañaque City are now being considered to be placed under ‘calibrated lockdown’ after residents violated several quarantine protocols resulting in the surge of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the areas.
Mayor Edwin Olivarez said their action is in response to the call of the national government to limit lockdowns to the streets in the barangay with a high number of coronavirus cases and not the entire city to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the economy.
On May 20, the city government placed 10 streets in Barangay Baclaran under a three-day ‘calibrated lockdown’ beginning yesterday at 6 a.m. up to Saturday of 6 a.m. due the high number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease.
The streets include Bagong Sikat, Bagong Lipunan, Bagong Pag-asa, Bagong Ilog, E. Rodriguez, Bagong Buhay, Bagong Silang, Dimasalang Extension, Mabuhay, and 12 de Junio.
Olivarez said those streets were initially recommended by barangay health officers and selected by the city’s health department based on the results of community-based testing conducted by the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.
As of May 20, the city recorded 652 confirmed of COVID-19 disease while 355 recoveries and 42 fatalities.
City hall officials said the increase in cases was due to its improved mass testing method for the past three weeks.
The city health office identified the barangays with the highest number of coronavirus cases as San Dionisio with 58, San Antonio registered 41 cases, and Moonwalk has 20 cases.
San Dionisio has a population of about 64,000 while San Antonio has 67,500 population, both considered the biggest barangay in the city.
“We consider some streets or sitios in these barangays as critical areas. This is our immediate concern,” said Olivarez, explaining that they would first seek approval from the regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) who will issue new guidelines on localized barangay lockdowns.
He said that they will only enforce lockdown in a barangay upon the recommendation of the barangay officials on the results of community-based testing conducted by the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit headed by Dr. Darius Sebastian.
For several weeks, concerned residents of Barangays San Dionisio and San Antonio are asking the city government to immediately implement a hard lockdown following the surge of infected persons for the past two months and violating health protocols.
Sebastian reported that 39 persons infected with COVID-19 in Barangay San Antonio and another 35 COVID patients in Barangay San Dionisio need to be isolated or brought to the hospital as soon as possible.
He said it is not only the two barangays that are under immediate concern by the city government but also the more than 100 families who also need immediate health attention after they were traced of being COVID virus positive by the city health office.
Olivarez said that if the barangay has a compound with five or more affected families, they will be placed under lockdown but not the entire village.
He said that he suggested this community lockdown formula to the Metro Manila mayors when they held a meeting two weeks ago.
He proposed that even if the MECQ was lifted on May 31, local government units can impose the calibrated lockdown in streets or sitios of a barangay wherein confirmed COVID-19 cases remain high and disturbing.
Olivarez also reiterated his call to residents infected with COVID-19to cooperate with health authorities and follow quarantine protocols or be evicted from their homes and transported to a private hospital.