MANILA - Pasay City has now placed 56 villages under localized lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, an official said Thursday.
"As of yesterday, 56 barangays are now in containment," Pasay City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit head Miko Llorca told ANC.
The city government first imposed the 14-day lockdown in 33 villages on Feb. 20 but has since added more areas as coronavirus infections rise.
The city, which has a total of 201 villages, is a transport hub in the southern Metro, where air and bus terminals are located. It is also home to recreational and entertainment sites.
Llorca said most infections have been in households.
"We observed based on our data that most of the transmission are occurring in the households or families," he said.
A female resident from Pasay earlier tested positive for the UK COVID-19 variant, which experts said was more infectious.
Llorca said they traced 39 close contacts of the patient and only 1 caught the virus.
"We're not seeing yet the connection between the UK variant case and the spike in our cases because all the other cases are far from the barangay where we have the UK variant," he said.
Before the surge in COVID-19 infections, Pasay City, on Feb. 4, tallied 75 active cases or patients deemed infectious. It increased to 441 active cases in 3 weeks.
As of Feb. 24, the city recorded 7,746 COVID-19 cases, of which 7,106 patients recovered and 199 succumbed to the illness.
Llorca said they received reports that some Pasay City residents didn't undergo quarantine while waiting for their COVID-19 test results -- one factor that could have contributed to the rise in infections.
"We are receiving reports that there are cases [or] people living in Pasay being tested outside. So, [during] the time span they are waiting for their results, they will not inform the barangay," he said.
"So, these families [or] these patients will not be in quarantine. After 1 or 2 days, we will receive the result [and] that's the only time we will be able to contact the patient."
To date, the village that has the most active cases is Barangay 183 with 28. It is followed by Barangay 118 (17), Barangay 118 (15), Barangay 98 and 107 (13), and Barangay 201 (12).
The city government has already asked the Department of Health to conduct genome sequencing on the new cases to determine if the patients contracted the UK COVID-19 variant.
The localized lockdown, Llorca added, might be extended depending on the assessment of the situation in each village.