Gov't eyes barangay lockdowns, no longer region-wide in case of COVID-19 infections
The government is eyeing barangay lockdowns instead of region-wide in case of coronavirus disease infections, the National Task Force COVID-19 said on Tuesday night.
NTF COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the "way forward" is to localize the National Action Plan against COVID-19 through the local government units.
He said Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año is now talking with all the LGUs.
"What we're doing right now, Mr. President, we might not declare lockdown per region, but our lockdown will be by barangay," he said during the televised meeting with Duterte.
"This means we have to lessen the scope (of the lockdown). What we're going to do is the barangay which has (coronavirus) case will be placed under lockdown to preserve our economic (corridors)," he explained.
Galvez said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases would provide the LGUs guidelines on how to handle lockdowns at the barangay level.
"So, only the barangay or for example, one compound with four families affected (with COVID-19), will only be placed under lockdown. And we will not allow to have infections on our economic corridors. We have to preserve our economic corridor," he said.
Only Cebu City and Mandaue City have remained under the enhanced community quarantine, while Metro Manila and other nearby provinces are under modified ECQ. Most parts of the country are now under the general community quarantine.
Galvez reiterated that the government will increase its testing capacity to 30,000 per day by May 31 and to strengthen the contact tracing effort by the DILG with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
Galvez also reported that so far for the month of May, no frontliner has died.
"I belirve that since May, we would like to report to you (Duterte) that we were able to preserve our frontliners. That's your guidance to us that we have to preserve our doctors and our medical personnel," he said.
Galvez attributed the zero casualty from among the frontliners on the increased number of personal protective equipment of various hospitals in the country.
He said the NTF has distributed 603,000 sets of PPE and more will be released.
At least 17 doctors have died during the initial stage of COVID-19 crisis, Galvez said. Celerina Monte/DMS