(UPDATED) Barangay 23-C has been placed under a 14-day lockdown beginning Saturday afternoon, July 4, due to the increasing number of confirmed coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.
“The residents will be confined in the barangay. Meaning, no one is allowed to enter or go out until the spread of the virus is stopped,” Davao City Health Office Head Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said.
She said the lockdown is part of the city's Covid-19 health protocol implementation, putting the barangay under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), thus, restricting the movement of people.
Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio earlier said the barangay, which is classified by the Covid-19 risk assessment map as a "very high-risk area", has now become a "hot spot" of the viral transmission.
Duterte-Carpio, on Friday afternoon, July 4, cautioned Dabawenyos from visiting the area.
"Very severe ang situation nato sa 23-C because daghan kaayo ta og patients nga gikan sa 23-C (Barangay 23-C has a very severe situation due to the rising number of patients recorded in the area)," Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
The mayor said the lockdown is one of the measures the city will impose to mitigate the transmission of the virus, which remains to have neither vaccine nor medicine as of press time.
Meanwhile, the City Government said in a press statement that the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) will provide the residents with a daily ration of food.
CSWDO will also conduct psychosocial interventions to help the residents in the area to cope with the lockdown.
Security forces will also be deployed in the area to ensure that lockdown measures are followed.
The barangay officials first announced the area's lockdown on Saturday morning, through its official Facebook page.
Barangay 23-C Captain Wating Usman, clarified on his Facebook post that the City Health Office will not be conducting house-to-house swab tests to its 18,000 residents.
Usman also revealed that some residents, before the lockdown, fled from their houses upon learning that a lockdown will be implemented in the barangay.
"Mga silingan, please ayaw mo panglayas kay mag-lockdown lang ta. Dili swab testing. Quarantine lang ta for 14 days para mawala na sa ato si Covid. Kinsa akong hatagan sa mga relief kung manglayas mo. (To my constituents, please do not leave the area because we will only be imposing a lockdown. We will only be implementing a 14-day quarantine. There won't be any swab tests. How will you get any relief assistance if you will leave the area?) Stay calm and stay at home," the barangay official said in his Facebook post.
However, it was not clear if the officials were able to prevent the residents from leaving.
Residents from 23-C had mixed reactions on the imposed lockdown.
Nazaer Dimacompas Calocop commented on Usman's post, saying that while they support the intention of the lockdown, however, he said they are worried that the lockdown would affect their work.
"Hindi kami natatakot sa swab testing na yan. Mahirap lang mawalan ng trabaho. May umaasa samin at mahirap din umasa sa sinasabing ibibigay ng government (We are not worried about the planned swab tests. We are more worried that we might lose our jobs. We do not want to rely on the government's promised assistance)," Calocop said.
Faisal Pendaraya Cap, on the other hand, said she is worried about her little children, who might experience hunger, during the strict quarantine.
"Sana maramdaman mo rin gaano kahirap magutom at walang inaasahang trabaho dahil tanggal na kami (I hope you would experience what it feels to have no food on the table, and not having any source of income since we lost our jobs due to the pandemic)," Cap said.
Mohaima Mustapha Basta aired his disappointment after not getting any relief assistance in the earlier round of the ration good distribution.
Basher Benjie Abdullah, for his part, encouraged his fellow residents to pray for the immediate recovery of those affected by Covid-19.
Abdullah also encouraged everyone in 23-C to follow the lockdown rules so that there will be no more viral transmission in the area.
"Sana magtulungan tayo na mga residente para hindi mahirapan ang tumutulong sa atin na gobyerno na sugpuin ang virus sa ating mga tahanan at buong kapaligiran ng Barangay 23-C (Let us all support government's efforts in mitigating the spread of the virus, not only in our houses but also in the entire 23-C)," he said.
Based on the data from the Davao City Operations Center for Covid-19 from June 28 to July 3, a total of 17 residents tested positive for Covid-19.
The youngest infected resident was a 25-day old infant while the oldest was 75 years old.
Data from the Department of Health-Davao Region, a total of 88 residents were already infected with the virus as two already died. (with reports from CIO)