Davao City locks down community after 65 residents test positive for COVID-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 August) – The Davao City COVID-19 Task Force placed Purok 8 in Barangay Kapitan Tomas Monteverde, Sr. under a “hard lockdown” effective 1:30 p.m. Monday after 65 residents tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing.

During her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday, Duterte said the surge in the local transmission was not surprising since Purok 8 is adjacent to Barangay Leon Garcia Sr., which also posted high COVID-19 cases.

She said that a cluster of positive cases came mostly from an area within Purok 8, which is being strictly monitored by the local government.

The estimated population in the purok was 417 individuals, Duterte said.

“Actually, there’s only one small area in this purok that is currently being monitored, but we decided to widen the coverage (of the lockdown) because it’s been noted that when there is a transmission already, the infection is expected to spread,” she added.

A statement released by the local government said the hard lockdown was enforced to “preempt possible massive spread of the infection in the area due to confirmed positive cases.”

No information was provided as to how long the purok would remain in lockdown.

During this period, Duterte said that the no one could enter or leave the purok, except for residents who need to seek medical services.

She said that the City Social Services and Development Office would provide grocery packs to affected families while the City Veterinarian’s Office and City Agriculturist Office would provide fresh produce.

Duterte urged the Dabawenyos to strictly adhere to the basic health protocols such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing and frequent hand washing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

The mayor put the entire Barangay 23-C under a 20-day hard lockdown following the surge in COVID-19 cases last month in the area.

Last Friday, Duterte said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told local chief executives in the region to “crush the COVID-19 clusters now.”

As of Sunday, the Department of Health-Davao reported 1,777 total cases with 1,229 recoveries and 59 deaths.

Of the total cases, 1,137 are in Davao City, 144 in Davao de Oro, 187 in Davao del Norte, 92 in Davao del Sur, 36 in Davao Occidental and 181 in Davao Oriental.