Davao City goes under enhanced community quarantine starting April 4

CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION. A Davao City health employee sprays disinfectant in government offices and public spaces in Davao City on March 12, 2020. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION. A Davao City health employee sprays disinfectant in government offices and public spaces in Davao City on March 12, 2020.

Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Davao City will be under enhanced community quarantine effective 9 pm of Saturday, April 4, further restricting the movement of residents. 

(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story reported that the enhanced community quarantine will begin on April 3. This has been corrected.)

The lockdown will be in place until 11:59 pm of April 19 "unless further extended or sooner withdrawn," according to Executive Order No. 23 that Mayor Sara Duterte signed on Thursday, April 2.

She made the decision as the city's coronavirus cases rose to 49 on Wednesday, April 1, from only two a week earlier. (READ: Coronavirus cases outside Metro Manila rise as tests slowly keep up

Six COVID-19 patients have died.

There are fears the sudden rise in cases are linked to a crowded cockfight match held at the Matina Gallera from March 6 to 13. 

Davao City's cases were not identified but the spike came after Duterte warned attendees that the event promoter suddenly died from pneumonia, a possible indication of coronavirus infection.

EO 23 suspends all mass transportation beginning Friday, except those hired by the city government.

Duterte said only those who are qualified to have "essential roles" will be allowed to report to work. They will be fetched from their homes going to work and back.

Private vehicles, tricycles, and taxis will be allowed provided there is only one passenger sitting at the back of the vehicles. Motorcycles may not have more than one rider. 

Among the workers who will continue to report to work are government frontliners in disaster response, social services, health or security.

Private sector workers are also exempted from the quarantine if their jobs are in groceries, supermarkets, wet markets, food commissaries, food processing and manufacturing, food delivery services, wholesale food stores, convenience stores, sari-sari stores, hospitals, medical laboratories, pharmacies, drugstores, doctor's and dentist clinics.

In the financial services, delivery services, gas stations, water refilling stations, LPG stations, business process outsourcing or call centers, and mass media outlets are exempted.

Duterte said the people should not panic because they can still go out of their homes to buy food and medicines provided they have passes. 

Liquor ban will also take effect from 5 pm to 8 am. The curfew hours remained from 9 pm to 5 am.

Duterte said the enhanced community quarantine will last until 11:59 pm on April 19 “but also might get extended depending of the recommendation of doctors.”

Duterte assured the most affected sectors that they will not go hungry. She said the city government will distribute up to 350,000 grocery packs to qualified recipients in 182 barangays.

As to stranded tourists, Duterte said the city government will offer them some form of assistance.

Duterte said the city government is preparing for a worst case scenario. She said she is prepared to declare an extensive enhanced community quarantine if coronavirus continues to spread in the city.

“But hopefully, this will not push through,” she said. – Rappler.com