Cebu News

Luz sitio back on lockdown

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz, Cebu City is back on lockdown. In fact, it was put back on lockdown a day after the lockdown was lifted on May 20, 2020.

“As per Cebu City Health Office, PNP ug ang Command Center, ibalik sila’g lockdown kay naa pay nabilin na siyam kabuok positive nga wa nagpa-reswab,” said Eldebrian Aranez, the barangay’s secretary and spokesperson.

(According to the Cebu City health office, PNP and Command Center, they had to be put back on lockdown because there were nine residents who tested positive for COVID-19 who were yet to be re-swabbed.)

Aranez said there must have been miscommunication between Mayor Edgardo Labella and the city health office, considering that it was Labella himself who lifted the lockdown in a formal order.

Labella lifted the lockdown “in due recognition of Resolution No. 20-040 of the Sangguniang Barangay of Luz recommending for the lifting of the total lockdown in sitio Zapatera dated May 18, 2020 upon the recommendation of their Barangay Crisis Management Team and Barangay Health Emergency Response Team.”

The mayor issued the order after at least 51 of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Zapatera have recovered and allowed to go home.

Aranez said they were also surprised to find out that there were still COVID positive residents in Zapatera who needed to be re-swabbed, as no one from the city informed them of the situation before the lockdown was lifted.

He said it was only after they gave their recommendation to Labella that they learned they had to coordinate with the city health office when the health office itself stepped in.

In a virtual press briefing on May 20, City Attorney Rey Gealon even said other barangays with sitios that are on lockdown should make Barangay Luz as its guide in lifting the lockdown.

A doctor from the city health office identified as Dr. Michelle Linsalata personally explained to the residents in Zapatera that they had to lock the sitio back to prevent a second wave of the spread of the disease.

Linsalata also said all remaining positive patients would be needed to be re-tested to make sure the sitio is already COVID-free.

She also said all quarantine pass holders in the Zapatera will also have to undergo rapid testing to ensure their safety and the safety of those they would come in contact outside the sitio when they buy essential goods.

Aranez said they are now preparing guidelines for the second time the lockdown would be lifted.

“Karon, naa na mi giandam nga draft and flow sa kabahin sa pag-lift namo’g balik sa sitio Zapatera,” he said.

(We are now preparing a draft and flow on the next lifting of the lockdown in sitio Zapatera.)

Zapatera was put on lockdown on April 7, 2020 after it recorded its first positive case. With at least 1,000 families living in the sitio, city authorities saw the risk of transmission was high.

When the lockdown was lifted on May 20, at least 80 more residents who are at the BIC were awaiting results of their test.

Barangay Luz has recorded 201 positive cases as of May 20.

Test Result

In Barangay Guadalupe, Captain Michael Gacasan said they coordinated with the city health office and the police when the lockdown on sitio Cabajar was lifted.

While they did not encounter problems in lifting the lockdown, what they are waiting for now is the result of the re-test of the patients now isolated at the Barangay Isolation Center (BIC). The patients were re-swabbed two weeks ago.

In Barangay Suba, the first batch of residents who were made to isolate at the BIC are also waiting for the result of their re-test. They called on the city government to update them on their status, considering that they have been in isolation for almost a month now.

They are all asymptomatic.

“Lapas na kaayo mi. Walay action kung walay reklamo. Na-reswab na mi pero wa pa puy resulta. Nagkagubot nami diri gani,” one resident said.

(We’re been here way beyond the recommended isolation period. There is no action unless we complain. We’ve been re-swabbed but there is no result yet. It’s getting chaotic here.)

“Wa gyuy nag atiman namo diri. Sa group chat ra. Kami-kami ra diri ug unsay among mahuna-hunaan buhaton,” the resident said.

(No one is looking after us here. It all ends in the group chat. We just decide among ourselves what to do here.) JMO (FREEMAN)


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