DAVAO CITY - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Thursday said they will follow the recommendation of the country's inter-agency task force on coronavirus response to shift her city back to general community quarantine (GCQ) following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city.
"We will abide by the IATF. We will wait for the document," she said in a statement.
National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementor Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier suggested that granular lockdown should be implemented in more than 20 high-risk barangays in the city to control the increase of COVID-19 cases.
He also recommended to the Department of Health-Region XI to strengthen contact tracing efforts and implement strict protocols in establishments in Davao, as well as to prohibit home quarantine of COVID-19 patients.
"Yung mga regional directors, we have to put forward talaga na we have to isolate zero home quarantine talaga dapat," he said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said home quarantine is to blame for the increase of infections not just in Davao, but in every part of the country.
"Ang talagang culprit dito ay yung home quarantine. Kaya nga yung sa Oplan Kalinga, talagang dapat every single positive mai-take out natin, mailagay sa isolation facility at 'yung mga close contact, ito yung mga naka-quarantine na binabantayahan ng ating mga BHERTs (barangay health emergency response team)," Año said.
As of Wednesday, cases in Davao reached to 5,412 from 3,859 which was recorded on Nov. 1. The city also ranked number one six times this month in cities and provinces with most number of COVID-19 cases.
The local government unit of Davao has revived the food and medicine pass, which Davaoeños should bring if they have to go outside of their homes. Based on the city's Executive Order no. 62, FM passes will be imposed again starting Nov. 17, and must be used with a valid ID to be presented in checkpoints and establishments.
"FM pass with last digit 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 can only be used on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. FM pass with last digit 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 can only be used on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday," the city order on prohibiting non-essential travels read.
Last month, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfews and 24-hour liquor ban until the end of the year were also implemented again as part of the stringent measures against COVID-19.
During her state of the city address on Monday, Sara said that the local government is "trying out the best strategic, seamless connection between the stages under our Plan of Action against COVID-19 — Prevention, Testing, Contact Tracing, and Isolation, Quarantine, and Treatment.”
The mayor said that Davao has approximately 1,200 daily testing capacity, supported the establishment of two private laboratories, as well as 15 temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) with a capacity of 1,171 bed spaces for various types of individuals – from confirmed positive, suspects, contacts, and post-swab individuals.
However, she said contact tracing remains challenging although the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently augmented 1,500 personnel to boost the city's contact-tracing efforts.--Report from Hernel Tocmo