Escape from lockdown

Photo by Macky Lim

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio confirmed in a radio interview that some residents in Barangay 23-C managed to leave the area hours before the hard lockdown was imposed.

"Naay mga uban na pagkabalo na mag lockdown, nanlakaw dayun sila. There is a need na ipasabot sa mga tao na kung duna mo'y nailhan na bagong abot sa inyong area na gikan sa Barangay 23-C, kinahanglan i-quarantine na sila for 14 days (Some of those who found out about the lockdown were able to leave immediately. If you know anyone who just arrived in your area and is from Barangay 23-C, there is a need for them to observe a 14-day quarantine)," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio on July 6, Monday.

The City Government of Davao placed 23-C under 14-day hard lockdown beginning 1 p.m. of July 4, due to the increasing number of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the area.

Data from the Department of Health-Davao Region as of July 5 showed that there are now a total of 89 Covid-19 cases in the barangay. Of this number, 39 are active cases, 48 have recovered, and two have died.

Barangay 23-C Captain Wating Usman, in a public Facebook post, made the announcement of the lockdown in the morning of July 4 and also implied that some have started to plan to leave the barangay.

"Mga silingan, please ayaw mo pag-layas 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 (Please do not leave the barangay, it will only be a lockdown and no swab testing will be conducted. We will be placed under quarantine for 14 days to try to get rid of Covid-19. Who will I give relief goods to if all of you will leave our barangay)?" Usman said.

According to some reports, residents went to other barangays to stay with their relatives.

Duterte-Carpio reminded those who accepted their relatives from 23-C to let them undergo a strict 14-day quarantine and strictly monitor their health if they manifest Covid-19 symptoms.

The mayor said the City Government announced the date and time of the lockdown early for the residents to prepare and for the city to augment health and security personnel who will monitor the area.

Two days since the lockdown was imposed, she said the security team, composed of the Davao City Police Office and the Task Force Davao, has not reported any incidents or resistance from residents.

According to them, the mayor said residents already anticipated the lockdown since they have been aware of their current situation.

Duterte-Carpio said essential workers will not be exempted from the lockdown but she said employers should not use this against their employees. She also said the City Government will give affected workers a certification that they were among those affected by the lockdown.

A perfect example

Meanwhile, if bull-headed Dabawenyos continue to disregard community quarantine guidelines, they can expect a hard lockdown like that of Barangay 23-C.

She said the lockdown was the City Government's "last resort" in managing the spread of Covid-19 in the barangay.

The mayor said the city's medical consultants deemed the lockdown as a measure to prevent Covid-19 from spreading further.

"Di nato gusto [nga] magawas nila or madala nila sa gawas sa ilang barangay ang sakit [nga mamahimong] mukuyanap ug mukatag sa atong syudad sa Dabaw (We do not want residents from this barangay to transmit the virus to other parts of the city)," Duterte-Carpio said.

Usman admitted to the mayor that he had a hard time making Barangay 23-C residents follow the strict health safety measures like wearing of face masks in public areas and observing physical distancing.

"Siya na mismo niiingon nga naglisod siya og pasunod sa mga tao (He admitted that he had a hard time in making the residents follow the rules)," she said.

Duterte-Carpio said Usman told her that some residents will only follow the rules when someone is watching over them or tells them to. When no one is looking or telling them what not to do, some residents have a tendency to disregard the quarantine rules.

"Ang Barangay 23-C ang best example kung unsay mahitabo kung ang mga tao sige og pabadlong (Barangay 23-C is the best example of what will happen to others areas when people are not cooperating)," Duterte-Carpio said.

The mayor said the city will re-strategize its campaign in letting people understand why they have to follow the health protocols.

She admitted that even the City Government is struggling in letting them understand the protocols due to some factors like language and culture.

"Ato kampanya is muadjust siya didto sa level of understanding or pagsabot sa tao (We will adjust our campaign based on the level of understanding of the public)," Duterte-Carpio said.

Meanwhile, the mayor said the City Government, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office, will be providing food assistance to the affected families by the lockdown.


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