TWO barangay halls in Cebu City have been placed on lockdown since Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, after some of its personnel tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said the barangay halls have been on lockdown for contact tracing purposes.
Garganera refused to identify the locations of the two barangay halls.
The councilor said four personnel tested positive for Covid-19 in one barangay hall, while one worker tested positive from the other barangay hall.
The positive barangay hall workers are currently undergoing a 14-day quarantine.
As tanods, barangay health workers and other personnel always go in and out of the two barangay halls on a daily basis, there is a possibility that there are a number of close contacts of the positive individuals.
However, Garganera assured the public that the EOC has the capacity to contain the spread of the new coronavirus through contact tracing efforts.
A grocery store was also temporarily closed after its employee tested positive for Covid-19. But it has since reopened after it was disinfected and the replacement employees were not close contacts of the positive individual.
The positive employee and the close contacts are undergoing quarantine.
As the EOC data show that workplaces are among the major sources of transmission of Covid-19 in the city, Garganera urged establishments to communicate immediately with the EOC should their employees test positive for the new coronavirus.
Garganera said proper coordination between business establishments and the EOC will fast-track the contact tracing efforts.
The councilor said some establishments, especially the business process outsourcing companies, were slow in communicating with the EOC after discovering their employees tested positive for Covid-19.
There were some establishments that did not immediately accommodate the contact tracers.
Due to the increasing cases of Covid-19 in the city, the authorities have decided to strictly enforce the health policies and quarantine protocol.
With this, Garganera said more holding areas have been opened in two barangays—the San Roque gym for the rescued minor mendicants and the Ermita gym for individuals who will be apprehended in the Carbon Public Market.
Cebu City law enforcers have doubled down on their efforts in apprehending violators of the curfew, which starts at 11 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m.
Based on the record of the Cebu City Hall, 2,076 individuals were caught from Jan. 2 to 27. Of the apprehended individuals, 767 persons paid the P500 fine to avoid the eight-hour community service.
The Cebu City Police Office caught 116 curfew violators from 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27 to 5 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.
Most of the violators failed to show documents that they were night shift workers, while others failed to wear masks. / JJL, PAC, AYB