Virus ‘hot spot’ in Mandaluyong on ‘total lockdown’
MANILA, Philippines — Mandaluyong’s Barangay Addition Hills, which has the highest number of confirmed new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases not just in the city, but also in Metro Manila, will be placed under a weeklong “total lockdown” starting on Thursday.
Mayor Menchie Abalos announced the lockdown on Facebook after village officials, the City Health Department, City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, Mandaluyong Medical Center, the Army and police convened a joint meeting to address the sharp rise in cases.
Barangay Addition Hills had 59 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday afternoon, accounting for nearly 14 percent of Mandaluyong’s 420 cases overall. Of the 59, six have died—the highest fatality rate among the city’s 27 villages.
The city government will administer 3,000 rapid tests on randomly chosen residents while the barangay is under lockdown, according to Abalos. She said that they had been distributing food packs to each household in the area since Monday.
“Other villages in the city with a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are presently being studied to determine our course of action,” Abalos added. “We will release our plans for these villages in the coming days.”
City officials have said that the higher number of cases overall is the result of more aggressive testing of residents in recent days. Mandaluyong has partnered with the Philippine Red Cross, which is headquartered in the city, to conduct the tests.
Almost 20 percent of residents live in the sprawling Barangay Addition Hills, which has a population of 69,885. It is flanked on one side by the exclusive Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, while city hall is situated mere meters away from its southern border.
There were no details about what the implications of a total lockdown would be, however, particularly as the whole of Metro Manila remained under enhanced community quarantine that already prohibited all nonessential errands.
Abalos said she would soon issue an executive order with guidelines for the lockdown.
Two districts in Manila—Sampaloc and Tondo 1—were earlier placed on “hard lockdown” for 48 hours to pave the way for mass testing of residents to curb the spread of COVID-19.
During the lockdown, all commercial establishments, except for drug stores and funeral homes, were not allowed to operate while all residents, save for workers in establishments offering essential services, were restricted to their houses.
Policemen and soldiers were deployed to both areas to strictly enforce the hard lockdown. INQ
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