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VILLAGE ECQ? | National team to arrive to help manage COVID-19 crisis

THE CITY government may resort to placing some areas in the city in lockdown because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases..

Last Friday over the city government-run Davao City Disaster Radio, Mayor Sara Duterte floated the idea of implementing granular lockdown, a term coined to emphasize that a lockdown is implemented in an area with high COVID-19 infection rate.

The mayor said there are no barangays, puroks, or compounds under lockdown, except for 248 houses.

“The granular lockdown is similar to ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine). In one area, whether it be a group of barangays, one barangay, or one zone, which has been identified for ECQ… Instead of the entire city, only certain areas with high cases, clustering of cases, high transmission will be on lockdown,” she said.

The mayor said members of the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team are expected to arrive in the city this week to help the city government in curbing the spread of the virus. The city has been placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until the end of next month.

She said the team, led by Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, which also helped the cities of Bacolod and Cebu, is expected to recommend granular lockdown, or Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in areas where widespread transmission is observed.

“Next week, the CODE team will (come) here. They are the same team working in Bacolod and Cebu, most likely they have recommendations for lockdowns… the CODE will decide which areas to be placed on lockdown based on their assessment,” she said.

Col. Kirby John Kraft, City Police Office director, said, the Police Regional Office is augmenting the city police personnel to help in the implementation of policies against the pandemic.

Kraft said some of these personnel will replace members of the police auxiliary unit who have been deployed to houses placed on lockdown. “They (members of the police auxiliary unit) will be replaced in securing these homes that have been placed under lockdown,” he said in a telephone interview.

“We will not allow them (those living in houses placed under lockdown) to go out to prevent the spread of virus. We are already strict in our enforcement, but this time there will be more personnel deployed,” he added.

The mayor also called on the residents to prepare for a possible extension of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status until the end of this year.

“We can expect that before this month will end, the new community quarantine classification for December will be released, and much better if we prepare ourselves that we will still be under a GCQ,” Duterte said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Friday placed the city under GCQ from what used to be a Modified GCQ.

The entire city was placed under Community Qurantine from mid-March, ECQ from April 4 to May 15, GCQ from May 16 until June 30, Modified GCQ from July 1 until November 20, and GCQ again until November 30.

She said law enforcement agencies are expected to assist during the implementation of granular lockdowns in certain communities or clusters or, if necessary, deploy additional personnel.

Dr. Alethea De Guzman, of the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau, said, at the meeting of CODE Team last Wednesday at the Camp Quintin Merecido of the Police Regional Office 11, that most of the new cases here in the past two weeks were reported in Barangays Buhangin, Barangay 19-B, Talomo Poblacion, Agdao, and Bucana.

As of November 21, the Department Health regional office reported that of the 191 new cases in the region, 138 were from the city, 30 from Davao del Norte, 12 from Davao del Sur, eight from Davao de Oro and three from Davao Oriental. With MindaNews report

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