Quezon City to enforce strict quarantine
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

QUEZON CITY, Philippines  — Local officials in Quezon City thought it was permissible for residents to engage in social and sporting activities under the general community quarantine (GCQ), prompting the city government to nudge barangay leaders to enforce strict quarantine rules, Mayor Joy Belmonte said on Wednesday night.

Belmonte said one of the drivers of community transmission was the confusion among residents and local officials as to what was allowed and prohibited under the GCQ.

“People were actually following rules during the ECQ, but when GCQ was declared – work resumed, and other things were permitted – many of our officials thought it was okay to play basketball, drinking,” Belmonte told “The Chiefs” the other night on One News/TV5.

“Especially when the liquor ban was lifted. They thought that it was a license to gather and drink in public,” she added.

Quezon City showed patterns in the spread of COVID-19 among communities, chief of which was drinking with neighbors wherein individuals shared cups.

Local health officials also observed that some COVID-19 patients in the city engaged in boodle fights, karaoke and basketball games with other households, according to the mayor.

“Most of the patterns show most of these people are in depressed or urban areas and that’s where we see community transmissions,” Belmonte said.

The mayor said while she understands the difficulty of staying home considering the cramped spaces in these areas, barangay officials need to closely monitor these communities to prevent transmissions.

Belmonte said she had scheduled yesterday a meeting with barangay officials to discuss adjustments in enforcing quarantine rules in the city.

“It is time to remind them that that is not the meaning of GCQ. GCQ is for the economy, but it doesn’t mean the quarantine is lifted,” she added.

As of June 30, QC has at least 3,362 COVID-19 cases, including 233 deaths and 1,978 recoveries.

JOY BELMONTE
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