Davao City back to GCQ until Nov. 30

Police officers check the identification cards of motorists passing through the checkpoint at the Talomo district in Davao City on Monday, 16 November 2020. Effective 17 November 2020, motorists need to also present food and medicine passes as directed by Mayor Sara Duterte due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the city. MIndaNews photo by GREGORIO C. BUENO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 November) – The city has been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) from Nov. 20 until Nov. 30 due to the failure of the local government to contain the coronavirus disease, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The city had been under a modified GCQ for nearly five months.

The decision came two days after National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez meet with the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team in the city.

During the meeting Galvez recommended for the city’s reversion to GCQ amid the “very alarming situation,” referring to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Malacañang tasked Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementer of NTF COVID-19 for the cities of Bacolod and Cebu, to lead the CODE teams that will assist in addressing the pandemic.

Roque said the government will establish One Hospital Command Center to ensure an efficient referral system as private hospitals are mandated to increase their ward bed occupancy by at least 20% to 30%, address the shortage of nurses in health facilities and provide additional high-oxygen cannulae, Favipiravir (Avigan), Remdesivir and medical equipment, among others.

He said accommodation establishments will be utilized to serve as quarantine facilities for health workers and isolation facilities for confirmed cases.

Granular lockdowns will be implemented in areas that reported clustering of COVID-19 cases, he said.

Law enforcement agencies have been directed to assist in the implementation of granular lockdowns in barangays and deploy personnel if the need arises, he added.

Dr. Alethea De Guzman, of the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau, said most of the new cases were reported in Barangays Buhangin, Barangay 19-B, Talomo Poblacion, Agdao and Bucana.

Age restrictions under MGCQ, which cover people below 15 years old and those over 65 years old, may be relaxed for tourism-related travel upon the determination of local government units, with the guidelines to be issued by the Department of Tourism, Department of Health and Department of the Interior and Local Government, Roque said.

The entire city was placed under enhanced community quarantine from April 4 to May 15, GCQ from May 16 until June 30, and MGCQ last July 1 until supposedly the end of November.

As of Nov. 18, Davao City reported a total of 5,520 cases, Davao de Oro 400 , Davao del Norte 882, Davao del Sur 621, Davao Occidental 113 and Davao Oriental 404.

The entire region has 2,378 active cases, 5,266 recoveries and 296 deaths.

Out of the 5,20 cases in Davao City, 1,874 are active, 3,401 have recovered and 245 died. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)