THE City Government of Navotas has formally started using a quarantine band system to monitor close contacts and confirmed COVID-19 cases, and track movement of residents in lockdown areas.
The Navotas Quarantine Band System (Navo Q-Band) is enacted through City Ordinance No. 2021-24 to promote efficiency in the city’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Navo Q-Band is mandatory for all individuals who are confirmed positive patients, and those who live with them, if they qualified for home quarantine; close contacts of positive cases; and those who reside in areas under granular lockdown.
The system can monitor the location, health status and infection risk of these individuals, which can then help the City Health Office to determine and contain virus clusters.
Navoteños who live in areas under lockdown are tagged with white Q-bands. Meanwhile, COVID positive patients and those who live with them while they are in home quarantine, and close contacts that will undergo or have undergone RT-PCR test with pending results are given pink Q-bands.
“The surge in COVID-19 cases in our city these past two months is very alarming. The abrupt increase in community isolation facility admissions and the number of lockdowns we have imposed is a matter of grave concern,” Mayor Toby Tiangco said.
“These circumstances not only affected the health and livelihood of our constituents. They also further stretched the meager resources of our city. We have to act fast and use all our assets to their full advantage, and implement measures that can effectively contain the spread of the virus,” he added.
The Navo Q-bands will be monitored by the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Office twice or thrice a day at random times. The tagged individuals will receive messages and they need to scan their bands as their reply.
They shall also respond to monitoring and tracking inquiry within 10 minutes of receiving the message. Failure to respond for at least three times in a day, without justifiable reason, is considered a violation of the quarantine band system’s implementing guidelines.
The Barangay Health Emergency Response Team, on the other hand, is in-charge of receiving tracking messages and scanning of Q-bands of covered persons without mobile phones.
The City Health Office is the sole entity that can remove the Navo Q-bands from persons wearing them. Unauthorized removal or tampering of bands is also a violation and subject to penalty.
Navotenos with Q-bands shall not leave the isolation facility or their residence if under home quarantine, and the perimeters of the identified area under granular lockdown.
White Q-band wearers will face P1,000, P2,000 and P5,000 fines for their first, second and third offense, respectively. On the other hand, pink Q-band wearers will be slapped with P5,000 fine on their first and succeeding violations.
Navotas has a total of 8,456 COVID-19 positive cases as of April 1, 2021. Of these, 1,335 are still active cases.
Meanwhile, Tiangco said the number of senior citizens who want to get vaccinated using AstraZeneca has doubled, noting that more senior citizens are now confident of the vaccine.
“After they saw that there was no serious adverse effect on the other senior citizens who had already been vaccinated, suddenly many senior citizens also wanted to be vaccinated. As of yesterday, there were already 6,000 senior citizens who signed up,” he said.
Also, some 100 health workers of the Navotas City Hospital have received their second dose of the CoronaVac vaccine, a few weeks after they received their first dose.
Tiangco said Navotas has already vaccinated 1,901 city residents and workers in Priority Groups A1 which includes doctors, nurses and other health workers and Category A3 or those 18 years to 59 with comorbidities.