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Hard lockdown imposed on select Calabarzon areas

/ 04:16 AM April 29, 2020

Seeing an increase in the number of coronavirus infection, local governments in southern Luzon have further restricted people’s movement in an effort to drastically curb local transmission of the disease.

John Cerezo, director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Laguna province, said implementing a “hard” or total lockdown was “allowed as long as [local officials] do not deviate” from the general guidelines set by the national government allowing an unhampered movement of medical personnel, and transport of essential food and supplies.

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As of Monday, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) had 870 people infected with the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the second highest number of cases after Metro Manila.

The region has been identified as a high-risk area for an outbreak and will remain under an enhanced community quarantine until May 15. A Department of Health bulletin showed at least 106 people in the region had died from the disease while 176 had recovered.

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Antipolo City in Rizal has the highest number of infection (110) among cities and towns in the region.

Indoors on Sundays

In Laguna, a total lockdown has been in effect in Liliw town and parts of Majayjay town.

In Los Baños town, Barangay Batong Malake has been implementing a total lockdown on Sundays. This means even sari-sari stores and food establishments are closed that day.“We only want to minimize movement. People may go out and buy their supplies the rest of the week,” said Louella Andrea Dungo, Batong Malake village secretary.

Batong Malake alone has five COVID-19 cases. The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) campus is also located in the village.

“Before, (UPLB) students only needed to show their [school] IDs in order to pass [through checkpoints]. But now, they need a quarantine pass from the municipal government to move around,” Dungo said.

In Liliw, a small agricultural town with six cases, residents cannot leave their homes at all, except during emergency situations.“We are not allowed to go out even to buy essential needs, [but] we can ask the village officials to buy food or medicines for us,” said a resident of Barangay Kanluran Bukal.

She, however, said people were starting to complain of the higher prices of goods delivered to them.

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Calibrated quarantine

In Cavite province, Bacoor City has imposed a weeklong “hard lockdown” on Barangay Molino III, its most populous village, which reported 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“It’s because of local transmission,” said Andrianne Mark Ng, city information officer.

Ng said villagers were told to stay indoors, while those with suspected or probable infection were isolated from the community and taken to a different government facility.

Gov. Juanito Victor Remulla said Cavite would be placed under a “calibrated quarantine” from April 30 to May 15. This means a 24-hour curfew, and quarantine pass holders are only allowed outside their houses until 6 p.m.

Gatherings and nonessential activities, even morning exercises outside one’s residence, may be subject to arrest.

Remulla earlier sought the help of the Philippine Air Force Combat Group to send troops to augment the local police and village officials in implementing the lockdown in Cavite.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has deployed 2,470 personnel to 212 border checkpoints between Metro Manila and Calabarzon.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Calabarzon hard lockdown, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, DILG, John Cerezo
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