QC enforces 'extreme enhanced community quarantine' in areas with COVID-19 cases

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2020 08:00 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2020 12:16 AM

MANILA - Quezon City officials will place areas hit by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) under "extreme enhanced community quarantine" (EECQ) to prevent further infection in the populous city, the local government official said Wednesday.

According to Karl Michael Marasigan of the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, EECQ will be placed over areas in the city identified as "hot zones," or where at least 3 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, starting 6 a.m. Thursday.

"We identified what we call a hot zone – yung area kung saan nakatira ang confirmed case ng COVID-19 (the area where a confirmed COVID-19 case live)," Marasigan said in a press briefing.

He added they also marked "warm" zones, or areas within a 500-meter radius of residences of infected persons.

According to Marasigan, residents in "hot zones" will not be allowed to leave their homes. Other people also cannot enter the marked area.

"Babantayan natin yan, 24/7 (We will be guarding them 24/7)," he said. 

Warm zones, Marasigan added, will be strictly under surveillance and monitoring.

"QCPD (Quezon City Police District) will set up quarantine checkpoints [there]."

He said Barangay Kalusugan is one of areas under EECQ, since St. Luke's Medical Center, which currently treats 3 COVID-19 patients, is located there.

"[Three] cases there. So, it’s under EECQ. Mga bahay kung saan nakatira patients ay di na papayagan lumabas, mag-ikot-ikot. Mag-set up ang QCPD ng checkpoints," he said.

The portion of E. Rodriguez Avenue near St. Luke's will be closed to the public with exemptions, said Marasigan. This is from the corner of Broadway Street until Trinity University.

"Pwede (Allowed) are patients in need of care; doctors; consultants; employees performing essential medical and support services; person delivering essential supplies; family members or patients confined at the hospital; not more than 2 caretakers at a time; [and] authorized gov’t personnel performing essential work. Dadaan lahat sa screening (All will pass through screening)," he said.

St. Luke's will be under strict surveillance, especially at its points of entry and exit, so people entering and leaving the hospital will be monitored, Marasigan said.

Aside from St. Luke's, the area of East Avenue will also be placed under EECQ, the official said, since the Philippine Heart Center, East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) are located there and treating patients with the coronavirus.

"Road closure from Elliptical Road going to East Avenue, till BIR Road. May checkpoints diyan, and maraming screening mangyayari diyan. Eliminate natin dito pagpasok ng mga non-essentials. Discourage natin pumasok diyan dahil masyadong na marami na record na PUIs (persons under investigation) and confirmed cases in these hospitals," he said.

Another barangay under EECQ is Tandang Sora, where 3 other COVID-19 cases were confirmed.

According to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, 29 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in 22 barangays, including Kalusugan and Tandang Sora.

Three have recovered, including a minor, and one died.

The 29 comprises 25 percent of recorded infections in Metro Manila, she said.--With a report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News