Manila’s Sampaloc district placed under 48-hour ‘hard’ lockdown 

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    MAYOR Isko Moreno on Tuesday placed the entire Sampaloc district in Manila City under a 48-hour “hard” lockdown starting Thursday evening as part of the city’s drive to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    As of April 20, Sampaloc has 99 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 159 suspected cases.

    Executive Order No. 21 signed by Moreno said the lockdown will start at 8 p.m. of April 23, Thursday, and will last until 8 p.m. of April 25, Saturday.

    Moreno said disease surveillance, testing, and rapid risk assessment will be conducted by city health authorities during the two-day lockdown as part of the city government’s overall response strategy to the COVID0-19 threat “not only to the district but the entire city.”

    “During the shutdown, all residents of Sampaloc district shall be strictly confined to their residence and are prohibited from going out of their homes,” Moreno said.

    The EO said the following will be allowed to get out of their homes: health care workers; police and military personnel; government employees; workers in pharmacies, drugstores and funeral homes; barangay officials; and media workers accredited by the Presidential Communications and Operations Office and the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

    “All other commercial, industrial, retail, institutional, and other activities not mentioned in (the) above exemptions in the said district shall be suspended in the specified period of the shutdown,” it added.

    Moreno assured residents of Sampaloc district that city hall will take care of their needs, especially food and medicines, during the 48-hour period.

    Moreno directed police station commanders in Sampaloc to deploy officers and personnel in strategic areas in the district to ensure the strict and effective implementation of the lockdown.

    The city mayor said more places in Manila will be placed under total lockdown to contain the spread of the infectious virus. A total of 458 positive patients have been recorded in Manila as of April 20. The local health department has reported that 51 have died, while 58 have recovered. The city also has 687 suspected cases.

    Data from the Manila City government shows that Sampaloc district has the highest recorded confirmed cases at 99, followed by Tondo 1 and 2 with 58 and 46 cases, respectively. At fourth is the Sta. Cruz area with 42 cases, Sta. Mesa with 38, and San Andres with 32.

    Malate district has also recorded 29 cases, while Paco has 24, Sta. Ana 23, Pandacan 20, Ermita 15, Quiapo 8, and San Miguel with 8.

    On the other hand, Binondo, San Nicolas, Port Area and Intramuros recorded the least number of cases at 6, 5, 4 and 1, respectively.

    Moreno said that if he sees the number of cases in specific areas increasing, he will also put them under hard lockdown.

    “That is a possibility pero depende din sa galaw ng mga tao at kung sumusunod ba sila sa panuntunan. Depende din sa datos in terms of infection (This will depend on the movement of people and their compliance with the guidelines. This will also depend on how many infected persons are recorded),” Moreno told GMA’s Unang Balita.