BARANGAY Lahug in Cebu City has once again strictly enforced quarantine protocol, allowing only money remittance centers, pharmacies and gasoline stations to operate every Sunday starting on Feb. 14, 2021.
Barangay Captain Hazel Ann Empleo said grocery stores are included in the list of establishments which are temporarily closed on Sundays. Food establishments can remain open but they cannot cater to dine-in customers.
The village official said residents had known about this plan since January.
She said they’ve been gradually implementing the temporary closure of included establishments since last month.
The Barangay Council included grocery stores since it noted that a number of people would do their grocery shopping on Sundays, which led to mass gatherings.
Residents had two weeks to adjust their schedule and make purchases beforehand. The move should not have caught them by surprise, Empleo said.
She said Sundays have become a “family day” and many people go out to eat, which is why they prohibited dine-in services on this day.
“Ang Sunday man gud, mao ju’y daghan kaayo og tawo kay way trabaho. Anha na sila magtapok-tapok, kaon-kaon, inom-inom,” she said.
(Many people are up and about on Sundays because they don’t have work. It’s a time for them to gather, eat and drink.)
“We’ve also observed that residents get restless on Sundays,” Empleo said in Cebuano.
Empleo said they started strictly enforcing the stay-at-home order, prohibition of mass gatherings, use of City-issued quarantine passes and curfew policy in January.
Because of the notable increase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the barangay, the Barangay Council decided to include some essential establishments.
Empleo said the measure will remain in place indefinitely since it will depend on whether the Covid-19 situation will improve not only in the barangay but in the whole city.
As to the movement of residents, she said they are only allowed to go out for essential purposes such as reporting to work, buying medicines and going to money remittance centers.
She said police personnel deployed in the barangay will be checking residents’ City-issued quarantine passes.
City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center, said apprehended violators will be brought to the holding area in the Barangay Tejero gym.
In the meantime, Lahug residents have been asked not to accept visitors on Sundays.
Empleo said the measure, which aims to curb the number of Covid-19 cases, will prevent establishments from experiencing the worse impact of the pandemic again, adding that the barangay is gearing towards reviving the economy.
She said they are not even implementing a “granular lockdown,” as they are only strictly enforcing existing executive orders of the mayor.
Based on the data of the EOC, Barangay Lahug logged 82 Covid-19 between from Feb. 4 to Feb. 13.
The barangay also recorded the most number of cases in the past 14 days at 144.
Other barangays that logged the most Covid-19 cases during the same period are Labangon with 93, Tisa with 87 and Talamban with 65.
On Jan. 24, Barangay Guadalupe imposed a “Sunday lockdown” to help slow down disease transmission in the barangay.
On Sundays, only essential establishments are allowed to operate, while only authorized persons outside residence and those with essential purposed are allowed to go out.
Barangay Captain Michael Gacasan had said the lockdown would give establishments time to disinfect their premises.
The barangay, which has yet to lift the measure, also canceled physical masses.
According to data from the Department of Health 7, Cebu City had 2,993 active cases as of Sunday, Feb. 14, after recording 218 additional cases. The number of Covid-19 fatalities is 714, up from 712 the day before. (JJL)