Isko: Sampaloc under ‘hard lockdown’

Isko Moreno
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno explains that a ‘hard lockdown’ would mean that all quarantine passes will have to be temporarily suspended and the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and curfew ordinance will be implemented very strictly, with violators being rounded up and held while the order is in effect. Sampaloc has over 340,000 residents. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

THE Ospital ng Sampaloc (OSam) has reopened to once again serve the residents of the fourth district of Manila, as Mayor Isko Moreno announced that a ‘hard lockdown’ will take place in Sampaloc from Thursday to Friday, as it continues to top the areas in the city with the most number of confirmed and suspected cases.

Moreno explained that a ‘hard lockdown’ would mean that all quarantine passes will have to be temporarily suspended and the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and curfew ordinance will be implemented very strictly, with violators being rounded up and held while the order is in effect. Sampaloc has over 340,000 residents.

It will be recalled that early this month, the OSam was shutdown after seven doctors, two nurses and an administration staff got infected by COVID-19 rendering others to become persons under investigation (PUIs) at that time, which the mayor said was a result of patients lying about their history of possible exposure to virus carriers. 

Moreno said that fortunately, the hospital staff have been able to overcome the disease and are now ready to once again fulfilltheir duties to save lives, even as the city took the shutdown as an opportunity to disinfect the entire hospital.

The mayor said the decision to reopen OSam was reached after a meeting with Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna who supervises the city-run hospitals, along with the directors of all other city hospitals, among whom the patients from fourth district were spread for treatment when OSam was closed down temporarily.

As of this writing, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sampaloc is 99 while the persons under investigation (PUIs) has risen to 285. As early as April 8, there have been 67 confirmed cases of COVID-19, rising to 98 by April 19 with 158 suspected cases.

In an executive order he signed yesterday, Moreno said that a 48-hour shutdown will be enforced in the entire Sampaloc area from 8 p.m. of April 23,  2020 to 8 p.m. of April 25, 2020 for purposes of disease prevention, verification or testing surveillance and rapid risk assessment relative to COVID-19 as measures against imminent danger to said locality and the entire city as well.

To mitigate any adverse effect of COVID-19,  all residents shall be strictly confined to their residence and are prohibited from going out of their houses except for the following: health workers residing in the district namely doctors, nurses hospital staff, clinic aides and laboratory and dialysis technicians during health-related emergency; officers and members of the PNP, AFP, PCG and government workers rendering emergency frontline services and other critical services; service workers in pharmacies, drugstores and health care establishments; officer of bgy chairpersons secretaries, treasurers, kagawads and executive officers and workers in the media industry duly-accredited by the PCOO and IATF. All other commercial industrial, retail institutional and other activities not mentioned are suspended within the specified period of the lockdown.

Moreno said all PNP units and station and unit commanders in the said disrict are directed to employ and deploy officers and personnel in strategic locations and areas in the district necessary for the effective implementaion of the lockdown.

The mayor said he made the announcement early to give  the residents time to prepare, even as he said that violators of the said order will be brought to a sports complex that will serve as a holding facility where they will have to stay while the EO is in effect.

Moreno said the violators cannot be brought to any jail as they might be carrying the virus due to their hard-headedness and infect the police or other detainees.

Meanwhile, Moreno announced having distributed to the senior citizens of Manila their three-month pension amounting to P1,500 each, under the social amelioration program of the city under Ordinance 8565.

Also yesterday, Moreno said that one of the two Manila residents who were brought to the ‘We Heal As One Center’ at the converted Ninoy Aquino Stadium had been discharged Monday, April 20, after the patient tested negative for the said disease twice. Said patient is the first to be admitted and the first to be released from the said facility.