Tondo District 1 to be under hard lockdown on May 3 or 4

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 29) — A two-day hard lockdown will be imposed in 136 barangays of Tondo District 1 on May 3 or 4 to further contain the rising COVID-19 cases, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso said Wednesday.

In a press briefing, Moreno said he is already finalizing the guidelines in his executive order which will be released on Thursday, April 30.

"The announcement on the hard lockdown will be done tomorrow. We will give ample time for people to prepare," Moreno said.

"We're eyeing May 3 or 4. It is definitely within the week," he added.

Moreno said the Manila Police District has already sent to him the guidelines on how the district will be cordoned off temporarily. Once finalized, the order will include exemptions of areas in relation to public access to basic commodities and logistics.

Moreno's announcement comes days after he placed Sampaloc district under a two-day lockdown due to its high number of cases.

He earlier said the Divisoria night market will likely be exempted due to the high demand for basic goods from within the city and other parts of Luzon.

"If you're going to shut it down the way it was done in Sampaloc, maaapektuhan ang pamilihang bayan sa buong Maynila at ibang pamilihang bayan sa Metro Manila (the whole market of Manila and other markets in Metro Manila)," Moreno noted.

The International Container Terminal and other terminals in the Port Area, located in the west side of the city, will also remain open.

Sampaloc district, which has over 370,000 residents, was put on lockdown from Thursday to Sunday. Moreno said Tondo District 1 has a population of over half a million.

The Manila mayor said he is also considering the temporary shutdown of Sta. Cruz in District 3, and Malate and San Andres in District 5, depending on the latest development on suspected and positive cases.

"It's [also] going to happen in any part of the city na kung saan halimbawa, may malaking numero ng mga violation o apprehended individuals who continue violating ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), social distancing, and yung curfew," Moreno said.

[Translation: It's also going to happen in any part of the city where there is a high number of violations or apprehended individuals who continue violating ECQ, social distancing, and curfew.]

Meanwhile, at least four schools in Tondo District 1 will serve as temporary sites for mass testing for suspect cases. These are Rosauro Almario Elem School, T. Paez Integrated School, Tondo High School, and Isabelo Delos Reyes Elementary School.

There will also be four to five separate sites which will serve as holding areas for quarantine violators, Moreno said.

A total of 659 residents of the city have contracted COVID-19 to date with 15 new active cases, according to the Manila Health Department. Of this number, 60 have died and 90 have recovered from the infection.

Tondo District 1 currently has 81 active cases, with 7 recoveries and 12 fatalities. The district has 222 suspect cases.

Sampaloc district still has the highest number of infections in the city, with 103 active cases, 16 recoveries and 10 deaths.