QC gov’t mulls imposing stricter restrictions in enclosed areas — Belmonte

Published March 10, 2021, 3:33 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Wednesday, March 10, said the local government is considering imposing stricter restrictions on various establishments amid the alarming rise in the city’s new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte

Belmonte said the local government might lessen the operating capacity of enclosed establishments, such as bars, restaurants and churches, although she clarified that they will still depend on data before making a move.

“Should this be acceptable to stakeholders as well given further studies of the data [we would do this],” Belmonte told reporters in an online press conference.

“Because we’ve also seen in the data [that] while yes restaurants, bars, and other areas, such as churches, have, in other countries, been sources of outbreaks, we also have to see if this is true in our country,” she added.

Belmonte noted that the most common places of COVID-19 transmission are households, communities, and workplaces.

Data presented by the mayor showed that from February 25 to March 4, 2021, a total of 213 cases of infections are acquired through household transmission, 126 through community transmission, and 84 through workplaces.

Only 24 cases are acquired in malls, 13 in markets, 11 in groceries, and six in churches.

“At the moment, it is safe to say the city government is considering restrictions, but we’re also trying to be guided by our current data, so we can make restrictions in the right places,” she said.

“Because I also believe that we should not sacrifice our economy again,” she said, adding that the current situation “demands stricter restrictions on the part of the government.” When asked how many percent of operating capacity the local government will only allow, Belmonte said they have yet to determine this.

For Belmonte, imposing a lockdown is still “the most effective way of addressing the surge in COVID-19 cases.

She cited an example where an area in Barangay West Kamias yielded 28 confirmed cases after the local government placed it under lockdown and traced the close contacts of four index cases.