MANILA – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso on Thursday said he may still implement hard lockdowns in specific areas of Manila under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
Domagoso said under the new status, local government units (LGU) will be given authorities to identify high-risk areas.
“(The imposition) is a high possibility especially if, kung sino hindi magtino (that is a high possibility especially if they do not behave),” he said in an interview.
Domagaso explained that based on the city database, they were able to identify specific barangays or zones with high number of quarantine violators.
“Kung masama ang resulta nun medyo positive then magkakaroon sila ng kaluwagan. Pero kung masama, negative, hindi pa rin nagbago ng gawain, galawin (If the result is positive then they will be more relaxed. But if the result is negative, and people do not change their ways), yes, we will, we will not hesitate especially under MECQ wherein the local government unit is now given full authority and discretion to identify specific barangay, zone, community or district. That’s possible,” he said.
He also clarified that under MECQ, observance of social and physical distancing, as well as wearing of face mask, will still continue.
“There are two key ordinances na nag-e-exist, first the social distancing and the second one, you have to wear a mask while in public places if you don’t, you will be arrested,” he said.
The city of Manila launched on Thursday its second quarantine facility in Araullo High School along Taft Avenue, built and donated by a private organization, as part of the city’s post-ECQ lifting plan, while other quarantine facilities are being built with the goal of having a 500-bed capacity.
Domagoso said placing those who will be found positive with the coronavirus in a controlled environment inside an open space like schools that are gated are safer for those inside as well as those outside the facility.
He said the possibility of an increased number of those who will be infected with the coronavirus disease will be likely when businesses open and people return to their jobs and that he doesn’t want to be caught offhanded when this happens.
“Mababalitaan nyo in the coming days tataas ang Covid-positive sa Manila. First because of behavior and two, we will have more tests (You will hear in the coming days that Covid-positive cases in Manila will increase). The city government will double its effort in doing test, test, test then after, isolate, isolate, isolate”
Domagoso gave the assurance that the city government of Manila will not cease its effort in fighting Covid-19 as he urged the public to take care of themselves for their loved ones.
“Nakakatakot totoo naman (it’s true that it is scary) but I want the city of Manila to be ahead of Covid. I would rather have them in this facility than roaming around,” he said. (ia/PNA)