Philippine govt may lock villages instead of placing an entire region under community quarantine: Official

Checkpoint in the Philippines. Photo: PhilStar. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, May 21, 2020, The Manila Times. The government may lock down villages instead of placing an entire region under community quarantine, a Cabinet official said, The Manila Times.

Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the government’s coronavirus response, said barangay-level lockdowns might be declared depending on the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in a particular area.

“Ang ibig sabihin, paliitin na lang natin. Ang gagawin po natin is ‘yung barangay na mayroong cases, ‘yon po ang ila-lockdown natin para ma-preserve natin po ‘yung [economy] (It means we will make it smaller. What we will do is place a barangay with cases under lockdown to preserve our economy),” he said.

Galvez said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases would give guidance to the local government units (LGUs) on the declaration of barangay-level lockdowns.

He said they intended to localize the National Action Plan on the coronavirus response through the LGUs.

“For example, may isang compound na apat na pamilya ang affected, iyon po ang ila-lockdown po natin. At hindi po nating hahayaan sila na magkaroon ng infections doon sa mga economic corridor po natin. We have to preserve ang economic corridor po natin (For example, if there is a compound with four families affected, we will place it under lockdown.

We will not let the infection spread to our economic corridors. We have to preserve our economic corridor),” he said.

This came as Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales and Angeles City shifted to a modified lockdown, where the government sought to restart an economy ravaged by the pandemic.

The cities of Cebu and Mandaue in the Visayas remain under enhanced community quarantine, while other parts of the country are under general community quarantine, with loosened restrictions.

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