Parañaque-wide lockdown eyed as virus cases spike
MANILA, Philippines — Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez has warned residents that he may place the entire city on lockdown for two weeks if cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to go up.
In a statement on Sunday, Olivarez called on residents to “unite and cooperate in the battle against COVID-19” as the city’s confirmed cases reached almost 2,000.
“At this critical moment, I’m appealing again to my constituents to come together to defeat this terrible disease. Each of us has a role to play, whether through unselfishness or humanity,” he said.
As of July 18, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Parañaque had reached 1,944 with 72 deaths and 1,017 recoveries, according to data from the city health office.
Most of the new infections came from Barangays BF Homes and Sun Valley, which had posted the highest number of active cases at 184 and 102, respectively.
Despite placing five of its critical areas under a three-day lockdown earlier this month, Barangay BF Homes still accounted for the most number of COVID-19 cases on Saturday, recording 306 or an increase of 40 cases within seven days. Sun Valley, on the other hand, added 46 new cases from last week.
Barangay BF Homes said the increase in its COVID-19 cases could be “attributed to our proactive measures in mass targeted testing and identification of cases through contact tracing.”
In June, the city government also locked down areas in Baclaran and San Dionisio.
Olivarez said that if the spread of the contagious disease could not be contained, he would be forced to do what Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco did.
Navotas is currently on a two-week lockdown until July 29 due to the rapid rise in the city of COVID-19 cases, with some patients coming from the same household.
In a memorandum last week, Olivarez directed the police and the heads of the city’s 16 barangays “to ensure the strict enforcement [of] and to exercise full vigilance in the implementation of the health standards on the use of face masks, strict physical distancing, crowding in public places and in all major streets.”
He ordered city police chief Police Col. Robin King Sarmiento to file criminal charges against negligent parents who would allow their children to loiter in public areas without face masks and past curfew hours.
Olivarez attributed the rise of COVID-19 cases to “thousands of residents, particularly in the slum areas [who] are hardheaded, uncooperative and not respecting health authorities despite daily reminders to follow the health and quarantine protocols.”
“More and more people are becoming hardheaded now that we are under GCQ (general community quarantine). They are not afraid of being infected with the COVID-19 virus which is why we need to be more tough in our enforcement of the law,” he said. INQ
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