Quezon City boosts quarantine measures during coronavirus lockdown

Loreben Tuquero
Quezon City boosts quarantine measures during coronavirus lockdown

Rappler.com

Apart from intensifying contact tracing, the city government is also converting empty establishments into isolation rooms

MANILA, Philippines – Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of a Metro Manila lockdown, the Quezon City government intensified measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Of the 52 confirmed coronavirus patients in the country, 6  reside in Quezon City. (READ: LIST: Confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines as of March 12)

In a statement on Friday, March 13, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte provided guidelines on what the city’s different sectors should do during the lockdown.

The immediate response of the city government was to continue citywide disinfection, including the closure of public spaces such as parks, covered courts, buildings, and other facilities. 

In an interview with ANC, Belmonte said that they would also intensify contact tracing.

“In the past, while we would contact-trace close contacts and relatives of those who are positive, now we would like to require that these positive patients would recall every single person they have had contact with for the past week, and all of these individuals we would require to be quarantined,” Belmonte said.

To augment quarantine facilities, Belmonte said empty buildings would be converted into isolation rooms to accommodate people who might be placed under quarantine. 

Persons under investigation and persons under monitoring within the city are also being monitored continuously.

The city government was also implementing a 4-day workweek for local government employees  to continue service delivery.

Barangay officials and policemen will be monitoring public spaces strictly, covering malls, computer shops, and community spaces. Belmonte also asked all barangays to have isolation rooms.

Meanwhile, the private sector was encouraged to implement flexible work arrangements to mitigate the risk of infection. They were also told to monitor the health of their employees.

Retail and commercial establishments must sanitize facilities regularly and keep transactions orderly, equitable, and fair. Belmonte also asked these establishments to ensure that supplies are “democratized” among shoppers to prevent hoarding and panic buying. (READ: Hoarding, overpricing would lead to criminal charges, warns DTI)

Belmonte called on residents to stay at home and limit movement, reiterating that residents must practice social distancing if they need to be in public. She also advised those who came into close contact with coronavirus-positive patients in the last two weeks to come forward. – Rappler.com

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Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.