Mayor Sara: Davao’s economic lifelines to remain open, lockdown a last resort

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 06 April) – The city’s “economic lifelines,” which have seriously suffered due to the pandemic, will remain open “until the very last minute that we need to close it down” despite the alarming surge in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Cebu where more infectious variants of COVID-19 have emerged, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

During her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday, Duterte said the local government will impose a lockdown only as a last resort against COVID-19 as local businesses have already been affected.

The areas within NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal reverted to enhanced community quarantine starting March 29 until April 11, as new COVID-19 cases reached record-high numbers.

Duterte said the city’s option to address the pandemic is for the local health authorities to improve the testing and contact-tracing efforts.

“It’s not that easy for you to say that we impose a lockdown, especially right now our businesses have been spread very thin already. It’s not that easy,” she said.

She said the city has implemented a “surveillance swabbing” in high-risk areas and monitoring of individuals with influenza-like illnesses in communities to isolate individuals who are positive of the virus.

Local health authorities have been directed to make a regular schedule of surveillance swabbing in business and commercial establishments, public places such as markets and stores, government offices, private offices and agencies, closed facilities such as detention centers and orphanages, and other barangays and areas deemed high-risk by the City Health Office.

As of April 5, the city government classified Sirawan in Toril as a “critical risk” barangay, and its surrounding barangays such as Binugao, Catigan, Lizada, Marapangi and Tibuloy as “high-risk”.

The other high-risk barangays are 7-A, 19-B, 20-B, and Tigatto, according to the city government.

As of April 5, the DOH-Davao reported 17 new cases, bringing the total number to 21,852, with 942 active ones, 20,082 recoveries, and 942 deaths in the region.

Of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 incidence in Mindanao, tallied 13,834 cases, with 306 active ones, 12,851 recoveries, and 677 deaths.

Davao de Oro reported 1,399 cases, Davao del Norte 3,587, Davao del Sur 1,460, Davao Occidental 220, and Davao Oriental 1,352. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)