Villages authorized to seal off ultra-risk areas

BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia has issued Executive Order No. 28 authorizing villages to identify and seal off ultra-risk areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The EO was signed by Leonardia on March 31, 2020.

Leonardia said on March 27, the City of Bacolod was placed on ECQ under EO No. 26, Series of 2020.

He said the ECQ is for the purpose of preventing and controlling the spread of Sars-cov-2 causing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) that requires the supplemental strictness in imposing the ECQ.

“These are barangays with residents, homes and neighborhoods that are in ultra-risk areas as may be defined hereinafter. It is essential that these barangays shall be equipped with the power to identify those homes and neighborhoods as ultra-risk areas and temporarily seal them off for the protection of their greater community.

Section 1 of the EO states that the ultra-risk areas may have already tested positive for Covid-19 and have not yet recovered, whether they are in the hospitals, or at home, or at quarantine centers, or may have passed away with symptoms of Covid-19 but without confirmatory test result yet.

The barangays where the above mentioned residents live shall be equipped with the power to identify those homes and neighborhoods as ultra-risk areas, and in consultation with the City Health Office, immediately place said homes and neighborhoods under complete lock-down for at least 14 calendar days beginning on the date determined for it by the barangay and the City Health Office.

The City Health Office shall inform the punong barangays concerned about any of their residents who fall within the categories described in Section 1 above, within 24 hours for effectivity of this order.

In subdivisions with fenced houses, the lockdown may cover only the residence of the patient concerned and all people in that household. In subdivisions where the residence may be separated only by wall, the lockdown may include the houses at both sides and at the back of the patient’s house and all the people in those households. In densely-populated areas, the lockdown may cover a radius of 50 meters from the patient’s house. All the residents in this 50 meter-radius shall likewise be covered by the lockdown.

The barangay officials and PNP personnel shall immediately go on house-to-house visits in the lockdown area to inform the residents therein of their lockdown status, the duration of their lockdown and the beginning date thereof. Barangay officials and PNP personnel shall then immediately set up checkpoints to prevent anyone from leaving the lockdown area or entering it.

Households in the lockdown areas shall be given the contact numbers of the barangay health emergency response team (BHERTs) members who will be their link to the wider community during the lockdown period. These BHERTs personnel shall facilitate the purchase of necessities requested by the households involved and to monitor any new cases of persons under monitoring (PUMs) and persons under investigation (PUIs) emerging in the lockdown area for reporting to the City Health Office.

The lifting of the lockdown shall not be automatic but shall be subject to prior review and approval of the City Health Office based on its assessment of emerging health issues in that lockdown area.

Meanwhile, Leonardia also issued EO No. 27 requiring the mandatory wearing of face masks in all public places in the City of Bacolod.

Leonardia, who signed the EO on March 31, said it is the scientific fact that mask-wearing can help decrease transmission rates of Covid-19 along with correct hand-washing and strict social distancing.

“To ensure the success of the imposed community quarantine, the City of Bacolod should utilize all preventive measures in reducing virus transmission,” he said. (MAP)


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