Most residents of Davao’s congested areas don’t follow anti-COVID measures

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 August) – Residents in congested areas of Davao City hardly followed basic health requirements to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), resulting in more local transmissions, an official of the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao said.

In this file photo of Barangay Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. in Davao City, barangay tanods seal off a road during curfew hours on April 15, 2020. The City Government of Davao has ordered a lockdown in the barangay’s Purok 8 as a preemptive measure to prevent the massive spread of COVID-19 among residents in the area. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of DOH-Davao, said during a virtual press conference that the situation in some congested places here was “critical” as most residents refused to wear face mask, stay indoors, observe physical distancing and wash hands frequently.

“In all these, what is most common is that these occurrences are in congested places or rather in places where houses are so close together that they cannot help but to be in contact with each other even though you tell them not to. But when they have to go to their windows and alleys, people will eventually meet one another,” she said.

She added that health authorities noticed that many of them did not follow the protocols when they are in their neighborhood.

“This would really go up. Even though we have instituted lockdowns because the lockdowns are supposed to keep them from spreading, supposedly to allow the person to stay in the house so that he cannot spread the virus and won’t infect those around him and other people in the communities,” she said.

Tabada added a lockdown would not work if the people continue to disregard basic protocols.

The Davao City Covid-19 Task Force placed Purok 8 of Barangay Kapitan Tomas Monteverde under “hard lockdown” effective 1:30 p.m. on Monday after 65 residents tested positive of coronavirus COVID-19 through the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test.

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

As of August 20, DOH-Davao reported 1,843 cases in the region with 1,322 recoveries and 60 deaths.

Of the total cases, 1,175 are in Davao City, 145 in Davao de Oro, 198 in Davao del Norte, 97 in Davao del Sur, 38 in Davao Occidental, and 190 in Davao Oriental. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)