SIX areas in five barangays in Cebu City have been placed on granular lockdown starting Saturday, July 25, 2020.
These are Sitio Eyha in Barangay Guadalupe, Balaga Drive to Sitio Cekalco in Barangay Labangon, Tuada Compound in Barangay Tisa, Sitio San Isidro and Abellanosa Compound in Barangay Quiot and C. Mina Ext. in Barangay Mabolo.
A granular lockdown is the small-scale lockdown or locking down of only a particular household, compound or sitio.
Mayor Edgardo Labella issued Executive Order (EO) 85 implementing strict quarantine measures in the identified areas for three to 14 days.
During this time, contact tracing and swabbing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) test will be conducted on all contacts and probable and suspected individuals with the disease.
Individuals who test positive will be transferred immediately to isolation areas for those who are asymptomatic, quarantine facilities for those with mild to moderate symptoms and medical facilities for those with serious symptoms.
Labella, in a press conference on Saturday, said all individuals in areas on granular lockdown cannot leave their homes, including those considered as authorized persons outside residence. The validity of quarantine passes is also temporarily suspended, he said.
“All individuals within areas under strict lockdown shall be absolutely prohibited from leaving their residences,” the EO states.
Barangay Control Points to be manned by police and barangay officials will be established to ensure the strict implementation of the localized lockdown.
The barangays, in coordination with the City Government, will provide food packs and other basic necessities for the duration of the lockdown.
For the lifting of the lockdown, the EO states it “shall only be pursuant to the appropriate recommendation by the city mayor and shall only be carried out upon approval by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
Members of the military and police, in coordination with barangay officials and other force multipliers, are mandated to implement guidelines provided in the EO.
Penalties pursuant to national laws and local ordinances will be imposed on violators.
IATF Deputy Chief Implementer for the Visayas Melquiades Feliciano said the zoning containment strategy is necessary to contain the infection.
He said the identified areas will be given “special attention” in terms of medical attention and other basic provisions.
He said the areas were identified based on the recommendation of barangay captains as results of the validation of Covid-19 cases they conducted.
While the rest of the city is on modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), restrictions in areas on granular lockdown will be similar to ECQ, said Feliciano.
He said the move was also made to lower the number of deaths in the city.
As of Friday, July 24, Cebu City had 455 Covid-19-related deaths.
City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief Implementer of the IATF Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Cebu City, initially said 26 barangays were identified to have the most number of cases based on results of polymerase chain reaction tests released from July 9 to July 22.
Garganera, however, said the number of areas to be placed on granular lockdown might be more or fewer than 26, depending on the validation conducted by village chiefs.
Meanwhile, DILG 7 Director Leocadio Trovela said his office is still waiting for the response of the national IATF to lift the travel ban of outbound locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in Cebu City.
Trovela said 18,000 LSIs have not been allowed to return to their respective provinces due to the memorandum released by the DILG to temporarily hold any travel of LSIs going in and out of Cebu City due to the city’s current MECQ status.
Trovela hopes the national IATF will address the matter, adding that there will be a new categorization of LSIs in August.