Manila Philippines mask covid
People wearing face masks and face shields as protection from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) queue outside a newly reopened historical site, in Manila, Philippines, February 18, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters File photo

MANILA: A surge in cases of COVID-19 in the Philippine capital has prompted the the city mayor to order a lockdown of 16 more villages (locally known as barangays).

Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso on Sunday ordered a lockdown on 16 more barangays in the city for four days due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region. As of Sunday, Manila City has about 2,656 active COVID-19 cases as recorded by the MHD, with a running total of 30,336 recoveries and 852 deaths.

"Holy Week" services in several churches in Metro Manila will be conducted online for now, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The Diocese of Novaliches announced churches in its vicinity would be under lockdown in a bid to stem the spread of the virus, adding services would be streamed online in the meantime and on-site activities would resume on Easter Sunday (April 4).

In a statement dated March 20, Bishop Roberto O. Gaa, DD said, "This in order for us to help arrest the worsening Covid-19 pandemic, especially in this part of Metro Manila where our Diocese is located and where some 11 Barangays out of 20 are greatly affected. I believe that if nothing drastic is done and things are left as they are now, the worsening situation could spill further onto other places both within and beyond our Diocese."

The Diocese of Novaliches covers 71 parishes in Caloocan City and Quezon City.

The Diocese of Cubao also announced it would be enforcing a lockdown in all of its parishes from March 22 to April 4.

Domagoso declared the said barangays as"critical zones" after he signed Executive Order No. 11 which mandates a rapid response to contain the resurgence and further spread of COVID-19.

The following areas will be placed under lockdown starting Wednesday, March 24 at 12:01 a.m. until Saturday, March 27 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • Barangay 1
  • Barangay 50
  • Barangay 106
  • Barangay 109
  • Barangay 184
  • Barangay 192
  • Barangay 209
  • Barangay 296
  • Barangay 493
  • Barangay 515
  • Barangay 586
  • Barangay 636
  • Barangay 669
  • Barangay 790
  • Barangay 883
  • Barangay 875

The executive order was issued upon the recommendation of the Manila Health Department to lock down said areas to conduct disease surveillance and massive contact tracing activities.

All residents should be strictly confined to their residences and are prohibited from going out, except for the following people:

  • health workers
  • military personnel
  • service workers (pharmacies, drug stores, and funeral homes), utility workers (energy, cable, internet, telecommunication companies, water, sanitation, and critical transport facilities including port operation)
  • essential workers (goods delivery, food delivery, banking and money services)
  • barangay officials (Chairpersons, Barangay Secretary, Barangay Treasurers, Kagawads, and Executive Officers)
  • media practitioners accredited by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and the Inter-Agency Task Force

Domagoso also previously signed Executive Order No. 8 on March 19 and Executive Order No. 10 on March 20, which placed 13 barangays and 2 locations under a four-day lockdown. Nationwide, COVID-19 has so far sickened 663,794 people. The tally includes 12,968 deaths, 577,754 recoveries, and 73,072 active cases.