DAVAO CITY – The city government here has imposed a hard lockdown on Barangay 23-C Saturday afternoon because of the surge of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections in the area.

Mayor Sara Z. Duterte said the downtown barangay has been classified as a high-risk area because of its high daily infection rate.

Mayor Sara said the hard lockdown intends to stop the spread of the virus in the area that has so far infected 88 residents and two deaths.

The village has around 18,000 residents.

“The situation in this barangay is very severe. This has been the subject of several meetings.  We advise everyone to avoid going to that area for whatever reason,” Duterte said in a radio interview on Friday.

From June 28 to July 3 alone, a total of 17 residents tested positive for Covid-19, data from the Davao City Operations Center for Covid-19 showed.

The youngest infected resident was a 25-day-old patient, while the oldest was 75-year-old, the center said.

Duterte said a hard lockdown means that the entire village will undergo a minimum of 14-day quarantine, adding Dabawenyos should not visit the area as long as it is classified as a “hot spot” and “very high risk”.

Dr. Joy Villafuerte, chief of Davao City Health Office, said the lockdown entails the protocols followed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), including movement restrictions of people.

“The residents will be confined in the barangay. Meaning, no one is allowed to enter or go out until the spread of the virus is stopped,” said Villafuerte.

She said the Davao City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) has been tasked to provide the residents with daily food ration, including psychosocial interventions.

Security forces will be deployed in the area to ensure that lockdown measures are followed, officials said.

“We advise everyone to avoid going to that area for whatever reason, be it for work or not, or going to establishments that are within this area,” Villafuerte said.

According to the Covid-19 Risk Assessment Map published on June 25, areas that are classified as very high risk are Barangay 23-C, Agdao Proper, Bucana, Buhangin Proper, Cabantian, Leon Garcia, Ma-a and Matina Crossing.

Meanwhile, identified high-risk areas are Barangay 5-A, 19-B, 22-C, Talomo Proper, and Wilfredo Aquino. (PNA)