Sara Duterte speaks of Davao City lockdown scenario

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Sara Duterte speaks of Davao City lockdown scenario

Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte says that a Health Department expert told city government officials to 'prepare' for this eventuality

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A total lockdown of Davao City was discussed by the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) during its latest meeting on Saturday, March 14, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Speaking over city-run Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR), Duterte said that the scenario, where movement in and out of the city will be prohibited, was considered although it might not happen soon.

“We were briefed by an expert from the Department of Health (DOH), who told us that we should prepare for that eventuality,” the mayor, President Duterte’s eldest daughter, said. 

The chief executive spends considerable time in Davao City since taking office in June 2016. 

President Duterte placed the entire Metro Manila in a “community quarantine” from March 15 to April 14 in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. (READ: What we know so far: The Metro Manila coronavirus lockdown)

The coronavirus cases in the Philippines spiked to 111 as of 9pm of March 14. Eight of the COVID-19 patients have died.

Mayor Duterte said that the IATF will be preparing a guideline that will be implemented in the event of a lockdown.

“This will serve as our guide in implementing restrictions when we adopt them,” Duterte said.

Duterte admitted that it is not easy to implement the lockdown of the city, considering that it plays a major role in the trade and economy of neighboring areas.

“There are many things and service that are only available here. So we have considered that,” she said.

Duterte said that what was agreed was that a community quarantine will be implemented on a case to case basis.

For example, if there is only one COVID-19 case reported, only the area where it was reported would be subjected to community quarantine. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

“But if we register two cases in different areas, that’s the time that we will be declaring a city-wide community quarantine, similar to what is being implemented in Metro Manila,” Duterte said. 

For now, the contents of guideline No. 8 are being strictly observed.

These include a prohibition on residents from traveling outside the city while incoming travelers were discouraged to pursue their plans amid the coronavirus scare. (READ: Davao City closes borders due to coronavirus outbreak)

Aside from banning residents from traveling to other areas, the city government also asked “short term visitors to leave Davao City immediately.” 

The advisory will be in effect “until after the State of Public Health Emergency is lifted.”

Duterte also indefinitely suspended the night market on Roxas Avenue starting Thursday, March 12. 

All parks and playgrounds were also ordered shut and events were discouraged.

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