Q-bands, mandatory swab test for violators lead to Navotas' decrease in COVID-19 infections

Published May 8, 2021, 12:45 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The use of quarantine bands and the imposition of mandatory swab test as penalty for quarantine violators have made Navotas City the top city in Metro Manila with the highest decrease in the number of new COVID-19 infections, Mayor Toby Tiangco said Saturday.


Tiangco said they have no secret in arresting the virus spread. But when they made some “tweaks” in its strategies, they started seeing improvement in the city’s COVID-19 numbers.

This came after OCTA Research Team, in its April 25 to May 1 report, noted a -76 percent decline in Navotas’ daily attack rate.

“Dito sa Navotas ang ginawa po natin dalawa ‘yung nakita namin na effective na ginawa natin. Number one is ‘yung quarantine band, number two ‘yung pinalitan po natin yung penalty sa lahat ng health protocols ordinances (We implemented two strategies here in Navotas which we saw as effective. Number one is the use of quarantine band, number two is changing the penalty for violators of health protocols ordinances),” the mayor said in DZRH interview.

Right after a resident tests positive for COVID-19, he is required to wear a quarantine band or Q-band for 21 days. It has a QR code which he must scan using his mobile phone to detect his location within 10 minutes right after the city’s monitoring team requires him. He must not go out of his place of isolation.

Close contacts of COVID-19 patients, including those living in their household, and residents in places under lockdown are also required to wear Q-bands to ensure they would not go out of public and infect others.

On the other hand, Tiangco said they started apprehending fewer violators after they imposed mandatory swab tests as penalty for those not following the liquor ban, the social distancing guidelines, and the proper wearing of face masks.

“Hindi ko alam pero parang mas takot ‘yung tao na mag RT-PCR kaysa magbayad ng penalty o mag-community service (I don’t know but it seems people are more afraid of undergoing reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test than paying fines or doing community service),” he noted.

Tiangco also said the decrease in the city’s COVID-19 cases would not be possible without the cooperation of his constituents.