MANILA — The interior department said on Thursday authorities have so far traced less than one-fourth of guests who flocked to a resort in Caloocan City last week and violated the curb on mass gathering to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Out of 496 guests at the Gubat sa Ciudad resort last Sunday, Mother's Day, only 232 left their cellphone numbers, not all of which could be reached, said Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.
Authorities have traced 108 of the guests, 72 of whom have taken coronavirus tests, he said in a televised public briefing.
The Caloocan government has yet to report if any of them tested positive for the novel coronavirus, he added.
"Napakahirap po talaga nitong pagko—contact trace dahil sa kapabayaan ng resort na ito. Tama lang po na humarap siya sa patong-patong na kaso," Malaya said.
(The contact-tracing here is difficult because of this resort's neglect. It is only right that it faces multiple cases.)
The Caloocan City government has filed a case against the president, manager and 8 other staff members of the resort for violating an ordinance on COVID-19, he said.
The local government has closed the resort and revoked its business permit, said Malaya.
Barangay 171 Captain Romeo Rivera, whose jurisdiction covers the resort, is facing an administrative case for gross neglect of duty and acts prejudicial to the best interest of the service, said the undersecretary.
The interior department, he said, also asked Rivera to explain why he should not face a separate case at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Malaya reminded the public to remain vigilant.
"I think iyong surge po natin has taught us a very viable lesson, na hindi po tayo puwedeng magkampante, hindi po natin kakayanin kung mangyayari po ‘yong nangyari sa India," he said.
(I think our surge taught us a very viable lesson, that we can't be complacent, we can't handle it if what has happened in India happens here.)
India is wrestling with currently the world's worst COVID-19 outbreak that has bogged down its health care system. It has logged over 23 million infections and records 300,000 to 400,000 new cases daily.
The Philippines has detected two cases of the COVID-19 variant blamed for the surge in India's coronavirus infections.