Local Roundup: More cops in COVID areas


  • More cops in COVID areas
  • Contact tracing in 24 hours

There will be an increased police presence in areas where there is a surge of COVID-19 cases, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday.

“It is a national policy now,” Roque said.

A total of 12 Metro Manila cities were among the top 15 areas with a “significant” upward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases, the OCTA Research Team said Friday.

In their latest monitoring report, the independent team of experts said Quezon City, Manila, Pasay, Makati, Parañaque, Taguig, Caloocan, Pasig, Malabon, Valenzuela, Marikina, and Navotas have been reporting a higher number of new COVID-19 cases.

Others in the list were the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu in Cebu province. However, Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu were considered “exceptions” as they both recorded a downtrend in new cases.

OCTA Research noted that Metro Manila, now classified as “high-risk,” averaged 1,546 new infections daily over the past week, bringing its reproduction number to 1.86, daily attack rate to 11 per 100,000 population, and positivity rate to 10 percent.

A reproduction number of 1 or higher indicates sustained COVID-19 transmission. The World Health Organization’s benchmark for the positivity rate is 5 percent or lower.

Contact tracing within 24 hours

Meanwhile, the inter-agency task force leading the country’s pandemic response ordered local governments to quarantine people who are likely infected with COVID-19 and their close contacts within 24 hours to curb increasing coronavirus infections.

The public can also expect the full implementation of contact tracing application StaySafe.ph within 10 days, Malacañang said on Friday.

“There are no more problems with the StaySafe app. As of yesterday, all problems have been ironed out. The full implementation of StaySafe app is expected within 10 days,” Roque said in a press briefing in Ilocos Norte.

Lockdown areas

Nineteen areas in Quezon City are now Special Concern Lockdown Areas as coronavirus disease 2019 infections increase by the day.

“There are new areas added while other areas have already been lifted from the old list,” QC Mayor Joy Belmonte confirmed to the Philippine News Agency on Friday.

Belmonte said areas under SCLA will be on lockdown for a minimum of 14 days and may be extended, depending on the situation.

Affected families who received food packs and essential kits, will be subjected to swab testing and undergo the mandatory two-week quarantine.

Public transport safety protocols

The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic has intensified its campaign against commuters and public transport terminals violating health and safety protocols.

Several passengers are complaining about irresponsible bus and jeepney drivers, and terminal operators for allowing commuters disregarding the regulations inside public utility vehicles and terminals.

“Many passengers openly disregard the rules and regulations on wearing face masks and face shields, others not wearing it properly. The drivers and the terminal operators just ignore them,” said Lordem Dalapo of Makati City.

Disciplinary action

Due to the sudden increase of coronavirus 2019 cases in the country, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente warned all BI personnel to follow strict health protocols and those who would disobey would be investigated and meted appropriate disciplinary actions.

Morente issued a memorandum order directing the bureau’s employees, especially personnel assigned at the ports and those rendering frontline services in offices, to ensure the proper wearing of face masks and face shields while on duty.

Aside from wearing protective gear, BI employees were reminded to practice social distancing and hygiene in their workplace by frequently washing their hands and using alcohol.

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