A resident of Old Balara in Quezon City receives a hygiene kit containing alcohol, soap, vitamins and protective masks from a city government worker yesterday. Inset shows an officer manning a quarantine checkpoint at the Marikina-Antipolo boundary on Marcos Highway.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Quezon City ‘hot zones’ declared
Janvic Mateo, Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - March 19, 2020 - 12:00am

5 Manila barangays  under tighter quarantine

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government yesterday declared as “hot zones” the houses of city residents found positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and placed them under full quarantine.

Mayor Joy Belmonte said the residents in hot zones would not be allowed to leave their homes. Food and other essential supplies would simply be delivered regularly at their doorsteps.

A 500-meter radius, called “warm zones,” will be established around the houses with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Belmonte said residents in these “warm zones” would be under strict monitoring and would have to go through thermal scans if they need to go out to buy basic commodities such as food and medicine.

The local government placed Barangays Tandang Sora and Kalusugan under “heightened enhanced community quarantine” to prevent the spread of the viral respiratory disease to other villages.

As of yesterday, there were 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city. The cases were recorded from Barangays Matandang Balara, BL Crame and Bagong Silangan.

Belmonte said some of patients, including a 13-year-old, have recovered.

Local authorities will establish checkpoints around the barangays where there are at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Belmonte urged the residents to stay home, adding that only those who need to go out for medical emergencies and essential needs would be allowed.

A facility quarantine will be set up in major hospitals in the city, particularly St. Luke’s Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines and Quirino Memorial Medical Center.

Belmonte said the city government would provide food to around 400,000 families who lost their livelihood due to the enhanced community quarantine.

While the local government is in the process of procuring food supplies, she asked barangay officials to distribute food to their affected constituents this week.

Belmonte said they would provide food to the residents from March 23 to April 5.

The mayor asked for support from the national government during the last week of quarantine, saying the city does not have enough funds to cover all residents.

Portions of East Avenue and E. Rodriguez Avenue will be closed to motorists, with only health workers and other medical personnel allowed to pass through.

All public transportation, including tricycles, are not allowed to operate in the city to restrict the movement of people.

Belmonte said city government vehicles are being used to transport local government employees and medical workers.

The Quezon City police yesterday started strictly implementing public safety hours from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. as part of contingency measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo said.

Manila barangays under lockdown

                In Manila, Dagupan street in Tondo was placed on lockdown yesterday after a resident reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

                Barangay 69 captain Edgardo Tria said the patient’s house was placed in isolation.

                The resident is confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital, Tria said.

                Eight barangays under Zone 4 in Manila are on lockdown as a preventive measure against COVID-19.

City hall public information chief Julius Leonen said Barangays 48 to 55 under Zone 4 were put on lockdown after people were caught loitering outside their homes despite the enhanced community quarantine.

Some 24,000 residents in Zone 4 will be affected.

Leonen said a representative of each family would be given an “enhanced quarantine pass” to be allowed to get out of the house for essential needs.

Five confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Manila.

A male resident aged 56 died of the respiratory disease on March 15. There are 12 persons under investigation and 364 under monitoring, according to city hall. – With Emmanuel Tupas

JOY BELMONTE
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