Navotas City gov’t aims to slow COVID-19 transmission rate as city goes under lockdown

Published July 16, 2020, 4:44 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The local government of Navotas City is hoping that the transmission rate and the doubling time of its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases will slow down after the implementation of its two-week city lockdown.

Dra. Christia Padolina, city health officer and medical director of Navotas City Hospital, said that this is one of the city’s “objective parameters” to know if the lockdown is successful.

She added that the local government also hopes that after the lockdown, the barangays with high COVID-19 cases will report a lower number of cases than what they are reporting now.

“We will appreciate na ‘yung mga barangays na dati matataas ‘yung rate, dapat bumaba sila. Or hindi ganoon kabilis ‘yung doubling time ng cases sa kanilang lugar (We will appreciate that barangays with formerly high COVID-19 transmission rates, should report lower rates. Or if the doubling time of cases in their areas is not as fast as before),” she said in a virtual press conference on Thursday (July 16).

As of July 15, North Bay Boulevard South (NBBS) Dagat-Dagatan remains the barangay with the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 71. It is followed by San Jose, at 64, and San Roque, at 57.

“Ang assignment nila talaga ay mapababa doon sa starting number nila (Their assignment really is to lower their numbers from the starting number),” Padolina added.

‘Have to try something’

On the other hand, Mayor Toby Tiangco said that in his meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), he admitted that he could not give any assurance that the city’s COVID-19 cases “will be brought down” by placing his city under lockdown.

But, Tiangco noted, “at the very least [the number of cases] will not increase.”

“Of course we have to try something, kasi tumataas (because it’s increasing). We cannot just continue what we are doing if nakikita mo nang tumataas (if you see that COVID-19 cases are increasing),” he said. “We have to try something else.”

Tiangco said he is expecting to see the results of their lockdown “between the 17th to 18th day onwards” after the start of the lockdown.

“‘Yung pagbaba n’yang (The lowering of our COVID-19) transmission rate, you will not see it on the 15th day,” Tiangco said, when asked if they will be able to say if the two-week lockdown is successful on its last day.

“It should go down on the 17th day, 18th day, 19th day,” he added, “So, kailangan talaga na ma-sustain [muna] for 14 days… ‘yung transmission after lifting the lockdown. ‘Yun ang importante diyan (So it’s important that we sustain our transmission rate for 14 days and onwards. That’s what’s important).”

Navotas has reported 1,097 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 71 deaths, 381 recoveries, and 645 active cases.

Quarantine violators

Meanwhile, Navotas Police chief Col. Rolando Balasabas said that as of 2 p.m. on Thursday, the first day of the lockdown, some 245 quarantine violators have been apprehended by police and other law enforcers.

Most of them were caught not wearing face masks, or not having quarantine passes or proof of employment to be seen outside.

Violators have to undergo a three-hour seminar and documentation after apprehension.