Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso locked down 16 more barangays for four days with the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the nation’s capital.
The Mayor declared these barangays as “critical zones” after he signed Executive Order No. 11 which mandates a rapid response operation to contain the resurgence and spread of COVID-19.
The following areas will be placed under lockdown starting Wednesday, March 24, at 12:01 am until Saturday, March 27 at 11:59 pm:
The Mayor issued the executive order after the Manila Health Department (MHD) made the recommendation to lock down these areas to conduct disease surveillance and massive contact tracing activities.
All residents of these areas shall be strictly confined to their residences and are prohibited from going outside their homes, Domagoso said.
However, the order exempts the following:
—service workers (pharmacies, drug stores, and funeral homes), utility workers (energy, cable, internet, telecommunication companies, water, sanitation, and critical transport facilities including port operation)
—essential workers (goods delivery, food delivery, banking and money services)
—barangay officials (Chairpersons, Barangay Secretary, Barangay Treasurers, Kagawads, and Executive Officers)
—media practitioners accredited by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and the Inter-Agency Task Force
“Station Commanders of Police Stations covering the said barangays are hereby directed to employ and deploy officers and personnel in strategic locations and areas necessary for the effective implementation of the ECQ,” the executive order stated.
Domagoso also recently signed two other orders—Executive Order No. 8 which was signed on March 19 and Executive Order No. 10 signed on March 20—which placed 13 barangays and two locations under a four-day lockdown.
—Barangay 281 (Under Executive Order No. 10)
—Street lockdown (Barangay 353): Kusang Loob Street, Sta. Cruz
—Clustering Lockdown (Barangay 658): NYK Fil-Ship Management Building
Several barangays have also ended their respective lockdowns—Barangay 351, Barangay 725 and several buildings in Barangay 699, which were locked down from March 11 to March 14.
Also included were six barangays which ended their respective lockdowns yesterday—Barangay 185, Barangay 374, Barangay 521, Barangay 628, Barangay 675, and Barangay 847, from March 17 to March 20.
Mayor Domagoso acknowledged that the COVID-19 situation has been overwhelming, saying that “I would agree with scientists and analytics na masyadong mabilis ‘yung growth. The infection may catch up with preparation.”
But the Mayor maintained that the city government still considers the situation manageable, with free COVID-19 swab tests still being offered, and monitoring and contact tracing operations being intensified.
To beef up the city’s contingency plans, Domagoso said the local government increased its quarantine bed capacity by 300 beds, which are located in Dormitels.PH in G. Tuazon, T.M. Kalaw, and Ermita.
These facilities—which were used during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last year—were offered by former Manila city councilor Don Bagatsing. The Mayor has also appealed to motel owners in the city to let their facilities be used as additional quarantine spaces.
As of Sunday, March 21, about 2,656 active COVID-19 cases have been recorded by the MHD, with a running total of 30,336 recoveries and 852 deaths.