THE Cebu City Government lifted the lockdown in Sitio Callejon in Barangay Labangon and some areas in Barangay Bacayan on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
However, Sitio Callejon remains to be under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella issued a memorandum on the lifting of the lockdown in Sitio Callejon on June 2 and specific areas in Barangay Bacayan on June 3.
In a separate memorandum, Labella directed City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., Philippine National Police (PNP), and Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to implement necessary measures to effectively lift the lockdown in the two areas.
For Sitio Callejon, the following grounds were cited for the lifting of the lockdown: no reported deaths related to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the sitio; majority of the Covid-19 patients in the area have recovered; and the last reported Covid-19 case was on April 30.
For specific areas in Barangay Bacayan, Labella said there were no longer active cases and all Covid-19 positive patients already tested negative during their retest.
Labella, in his memorandum, said the lifting of the lockdown was in consonance with the recommendation of the Cebu City Health Department dated May 27 and May 28.
“This is in due to the recommendation of the Cebu City Health Department... while still ensuring that preventive measures be continued including physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and regular handwashing; and that surveillance of influenza-like illness be likewise continued,” said Labella.
With the ECQ status, Labangon Barangay Captain Victor Buendia said the residents in the area are now allowed to go out but only when they need to access or buy essential goods.
For the residents returning to work, the barangay issued medical certificates for them to show that they are free from the virus, he said.
Those guarding the entry points of the sitio are still on duty.
After majority of the Covid-19 patients in the area have recovered and with the lockdown which was implemented for more than a month, Buendia presumed that the area is no longer contaminated and that there is no longer community transmission in the area.
“There were 125 patients who yielded negative during the retest, and with the one-month lockdown, I presumed the area is already negative,” he said.
Buendia said the disinfection in the area is still being done regularly.
He said there are no more patients staying at the barangay isolation center, however, an inmate of the Cebu City Jail, who is a resident of Labangon and is about to get his parole, will be transferred to the isolation center.
Buendia said the new case recorded from Sitio Bonbonan will also be pulled out and transferred to the isolation center.
In May, Buendia already lifted the lockdown in Sitio Sto. Niño A. Lopez and Katipunan Street after the three Covid-19-infected patients in the areas had recovered.
Bacayan Barangay Captain Zenaida Colina, for his part, said all the 42 cases in the barangay have already tested negative during their retest.
Of the 42, Colina said only the first patient, who was admitted in the hospital, developed a symptom but was later on transferred to the Bayanihan Cebu Center. The patient has now fully recovered, he added.
Colina said the retest was done last May 30 and all the 41 patients staying at the Barangay Isolation Center yielded a negative result.
He said he has received a copy of the memorandum and is only waiting for the PNP to discuss the lifting.
Labella said that as long as the improvement of the area is visible, it should be studied whether its status should be downgraded.
Sitio Alaska in Barangay Mambaling and five sitios in Tejero are some of the areas which remain under lockdown.
Despite the general community quarantine status of the entire Cebu City, segmental and sequential lockdown will be implemented in critical areas, Labella reiterated.
In the Facebook live of Mugstoria Ta on June 2, Junjie Zuasula, head of the Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, said it would be up to the local government units to determine under what quarantine status a barangay, sitio or compound should be placed, based on the parameters recommended under the Project Balik Buhay prevalence survey.
The DOH 7 recommended that the LGUs use the scaling model to decide whether to unlock or lock a community based on the level of cases and exposure, Zuasula said.
The unlocking or unlocking of sitios or barangays would depend on the actual number of positive cases, determined by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction results, and the results of the rapid anti-body tests that establish the presence of IgM and IgG.
Before implementing any changes in the quarantine status, the DOH 7 recommended that LGUs conduct disease surveillance in the barangays using the rapid anti-body tests to determine the number of remaining infected cases and the recoveries. (JJL with PR)
READ: Cebu City logs 42 new Covid-19 cases; 16 recoveries