Cebu City lifts Sitio Zapatera’s total lockdown

Ryan Macasero

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Cebu City lifts Sitio Zapatera’s total lockdown
Zapatera was the first sitio to be put on lockdown in April, and stayed that way for 43 days

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The total lockdown over Sitio Zapatera, Barangay Luz, in Cebu City was lifted after 51 residents who tested negative in the barangay isolation center were allowed to return home on Wednesday afternoon, May 20.

Zapatera was the first sitio to be put on lockdown in Cebu City on April 7. It was on lockdown for a total of 43 days.

The patients had been in the barangay isolation center after mass testing efforts yielded over 200 cases in the barangay. 

According to Cebu City’s Public Information Office, the recovered cases will still undergo another home quarantine despite already testing negative for the virus. 

The remaining areas under lockdown include: 

  • Mambaling (sitios Tinabangay and Alaska)
  • Carreta (Sitio Bagumbuhay)
  • Bacayan (Sitio Upper)

Mambaling has the most number of residents positive for the virus at 614.

In totally locked down communities, residents are not allowed to go outside of their homes. Local government workers bring food to families in the area.

Targeted testing 

On Wednesday, the city also returned to barangays Basak San Nicolas, Basak Pardo, Pit-Os, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, Bacayan, Capitol, and Kamputhaw to get more participants for its targeted mass testing program through rapid diagnostic tests.

The program aimed to get a sample of 10% of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu.

While Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu already hit their target of 100% turnout, Cebu City – the biggest of the 3 cities – only reached 35% of its target as of Tuesday, May 19.

They tested a total of only 6,205 households out of a target of 17,536 households. 

Those who test positive through the rapid tests will be subject to swab testing (polymerase chain reaction), which detects the actual virus.

New cases

On Wednesday, May 20, the 18 new coronavirus cases were confirmed, pushing the city’s tally up to 1,792 confirmed cases. 

The new cases were found in the following areas:

  • Labangon-1
  • Apas-1
  • Duljo-3
  • Mambaling-1
  • Pasil-7
  • Sawang-2
  • Tejero-1
  • Suba-2

Cebu City and Mandaue City are currently the only cities left under enhanced community quarantine in the country, while Metro Manila and Laguna province are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Talisay City’s appeal to be under MECQ instead of GCQ with the rest of Cebu province was also approved by the regional Interagency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EIC). 

Talisay, a 3rd class city on Cebu City’s southern border, has a total of 14 confirmed cases. 

As of Wednesday, the Philippines recorded 279 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of coronavirus cases to 13,221. –

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at