INSTEAD of placing 21 barangays under granular lockdowns beginning Sunday, July 26, 2020, the Cebu City Government will implement the strict quarantine measure on five more areas for a total of 26 barangays.
This was revealed by Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Cebu City.
Officials of the EOC along with the chiefs of the 26 barangays included in the granular lockdowns are scheduled to meet to discuss the measure’s implementation.
Granular lockdowns are small-scale lockdowns or the locking down of only a particular household, compound, or sitio.
Garganera refused to reveal the names of the concerned barangays but said these are the areas that had the most number of Covid-19 cases based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results accumulated from July 9 to July 22, 2020.
Garganera said the barangays had been given 24 hours to validate the results.
As soon as the results are validated, the lockdown will be “immediately implemented,” Garganera said.
Depending on the barangays’ validation, there may be more than one sitio placed under lockdown in the affected areas, he added.
Workers considered as Authorized Person Outside Residence (Apor) but staying in areas included in the granular lockdowns will not be allowed to go out.
“That would defeat the purpose of the lockdown if we allow them to go out,” said Garganera.
For Apor and other exempted workers living in areas that are not part of the lockdown, Garganera assured they will not be affected by the strict quarantine measure.
He also assured that the Cebu City Government will provide provisions to families under lockdown.
Barangay captains have suggested to include fruits and vegetables, instead of just canned goods, in the relief package for affected constituents.
This is being considered by the EOC, Garganera said.
On July 21, the EOC released a list of 21 barangays with the most number of active Covid-19 cases based on a four-day contact tracing, from July 16 to July 19.
These are Lahug (38), Guadalupe (29), Capitol Site (23), Talamban (23), Kamputhaw (18), Mabolo (18), Poblacion Pardo (17), Tisa (17), Sambag 1 (15), Apas (14), Labangon (12); Basak Pardo (11), Cogon Ramos (10), Punta Princesa, (10), Sambag 2 (9), Quiot (9) Zapatera (8) Banilad (7), Hipodromo (7), Basak San Nicholas (7) and Cogon Pardo (7).
Garganera said the number of Covid-19 cases in the city is still being synchronized until now, because of differences between data recorded by the Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas and those of the Cebu City Health Department (CHD).
“The problem is in the encoding, the transmission of data,” said Garganera adding that the EOC is working to address the problem.
Garganera said the city’s Covid-19 situation has improved.
Cebu City’s current positivity rate is 16 percent, down from 30 percent a few weeks ago.
The positivity rate refers to the percentage of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test out of all those who were tested.
He said placing the City under modified enhanced community quarantine was a big factor in the improvement.
He believed the situation will further improve as the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center starts to conduct drive-through/walk-through testing.
As of July 23, Cebu City had a total of 8,467 Covid-19 cases including 4,770 recoveries and 441 deaths.
Meanwhile, about 500 houses are under lockdown in Mandaue City.
According to John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, these are the houses with Covid-19 patients undergoing home quarantine.
Other patients whose houses are not conducive for home isolation were admitted to either a government isolation center or hospitals.
To qualify for home isolation, the patient’s room must have its own comfort room. There should be no senior citizens, children or infants, pregnant women, and persons who are immunocompromised living in the same house.
The Barangay Health Emergency Response Team assesses whether the house has passed the home isolation qualifications or not.
Aside from the house lockdowns, Ibañez said there are still no barangay-wide or sitio-wide lockdowns in Mandaue City.
As of July 23, Mandaue City had a total of 1,590 Covid-19 cases, with 702 recoveries and 50 deaths.
Ibañez said they expect an increase in the number of cases in Mandaue City as they ramped up contact tracing by hiring more contact tracers.
Although the number of cases will increase, Ibañez believed that eventually, they will flatten the curve through constant contact tracing, Covid testing, and treatment of patients. (KFD)