Good sign? Abalos says Metro ‘granular lockdowns’ down to 24

Published April 16, 2021, 1:53 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in Metro Manila is improving, if the conduct of granular lockdowns by local government units (LGUs) is considered a key indicator.

(Photo screengrab from RTVM Facebook page)

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos reported during President Duterte’s televised meeting with his Cabinet Thursday night, April 15 that only 24 areas in the metropolis are under “granular lockdown”.

“Ang granular lockdowns po sa ngayon ay kulang-kulang 24 barangays o mga kalye I village po sa Metro Manila (We currently have more or less 24 barangays or streets or villages under granular lockdown in Metro Manila),” said Abalos, who joined the meeting via Zoom.

The Manila Bulletin received confirmation from the MMDA Friday afternoon, April 16 that the figure is the fewest ever reported to the President since the surge of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) began in early March.

Abalos said last March 29 that there were as many as 132 granular lockdowns being implemented in Metro Manila.

Granular lockdowns, ramped up testing and contact tracing were among the measures implemented in NCR to address the alarming COVID surge wherein 10,000 new infections per day become commonplace.

A granular or “micro lockdown” typically covers just a few streets or certain barangays of a given city, as determined by LGU officials. It can last from one week to several weeks, depending on the number of infections there.

No one is permitted to leave homes under this status, unless it’s to buy food and other essential goods.

“It’s on a micro level. Tingin namin mas effective ito (We think this is more effective),” Abalos said last March 22 regarding granular lockdowns.