Quezon City places 20 areas in five barangays under 'special concern lockdown'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) - The Quezon City government places 20 areas in five barangays under 14-day "special concern lockdown" starting Wednesday, May 13 due to the high number of coronavirus cases.

The city government said that certain areas in Barangay Bahay Toro, Barangay Culiat, Barangay Sauyo, Barangay Batasan Hills, and Barangay Tatalon will be included in the lockdown.

Areas placed under the lockdown are:

Bahay Toro

- Sitio Militar


- Vargas Compound-Adelfa

- Metro Heights-Abanay

- Ancop Canada


- Lower Gulod

Batasan Hills

- 318 Dakila St.

- 2nd Alley Kalayaan B

- Masbate St.


- Victory Avenue

- ROTC Hunters

- BMA Avenue

- Agno St.

Quezon City Assistant Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo said the areas were selected by the City Health Department based on the results from the community-level testing.

"Imbis na mag-total lockdown ng buong barangay, pagtutuunan natin ng pansin ang mga partikular na lugar sa loob ng barangay na may clustering ng mga kaso ng COVID-19, maaaring ito ay isang kalsada, block, o compound," Kimpo said.

[Translation: Instead of a total lockdown for the entire barangay, we will focus on specific areas within the barangay with a clustering of COVID-19 cases, this could be a road, block, or compound.]

"Isa rin sa titingnan natin ay ang high-density population na hindi nakakapagpractice ng tamang quarantine protocols, kung saan malaki ang posibilidad na magkahawaan, kaya kailangan din sila isama sa containment. Mula doon, higit nating paiigtingin ang community-based testing at pag-quarantine," he added.

[Translation: We will also be looking at [areas] with high-density population where proper quarantine protocols are not being followed, where the possibility of infecting others is high, so they also need to be included in containment. From there, we will intensify community-based testing and quarantine.]

Kimpo assured residents of affected areas that the city government will provide food and other assistance during the lockdown, while QC-ESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz said they will conduct intensified testing and monitoring in these areas to make sure they are coronavirus-free after the 14-day lockdown.

Quarantine officers, composed of members from the City Health Department, Quezon City Police District, Special Action Force, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Joint Task Force-National Capital Region will help ensure strict implementation of the lockdown in affected areas.

“More than 200 members of the QCPD-AFP-SAF contingent will undergo training on the process of implementing quarantine rules and monitoring of confirmed and possible COVID-19 cases,” Cruz said.

Quezon City has the biggest population among cities in Metro Manila, and currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the region at 1,641, based on data released by the Department of Health on Tuesday.

But Kimpo earlier disclosed that not all of the COVID-19 patients there are residents of Quezon City. He said some are patients who have been admitted to the city's hospitals but actually reside elsewhere.

The local government also experienced challenges in distributing cash aid to the 377,000 beneficiaries under the first tranche of the government’s social amelioration program.

On Sunday, photos circulated online showing beneficiaries lining up at the gate of Barangay Pag-asa Elementary School to receive cash aid. While physical distancing protocols were observed inside the school, they were not implemented in the queue.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte called out her city's barangay officials for not strictly enforcing physical distancing protocols during the distribution of cash aid.

Belmonte said that she gave her city's barangay officials the flexibility to determine the best way to distribute the funds in their areas, but lessons must be learned to avoid the same situation during the rollout of the second tranche of cash assistance.

She added that she will hold accountable barangay officials who allegedly mishandled funds for cash aid.

"I don’t want to dwell too much on the crowds or the lack of social distancing, I think it’s more important that they give the money to the right people," Belmonte said. "I received complaints that the barangay official gave the money to their relatives or friends over those who really needed that help, some even asked for commissions from those who received. I think it's a grave, grave misconduct, negligence of duty."

CNN Philippines' senior correspondent Lois Calderon contributed to this report.