Pasay locks down 33 barangays as COVID-19 cases double

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 20) — The Pasay City government has locked down 33 barangays and one business establishment due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The city recorded an average of 44 new infections per day this week, according to the OCTA Research Team’s latest report on Saturday. The group noted this is nearly double the daily increase of 23 COVID-19 cases the past week. Between January 30 and February 5, Pasay confirmed only around 18 infections daily.

The daily attack rate, which refers to the number of people getting infected by the virus, rose to 7.58 per 100,000, putting Pasay in the “high-risk category” based on the Department of Health’s guidelines, the research group said.

In a statement on Saturday, the city’s public information office said it has placed select barangays and a business establishment on lockdown as part of the local government’s “control and containment strategy” against COVID-19.

City Administrator Atty. Dennis Acorda quoted Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano as saying she wants localized lockdowns for barangays with three or more COVID-19 cases. Several personnel of the city government will augment the Philippine National Police and barangay to enforce health protocols.

The mayor herself announced last February 9 that she tested positive for the viral disease and is now in isolation.

Pasay has recorded a total of 7,461 infections overall. Some 6,990 have recovered while 191 died, leaving 280 active cases as of this week.

The cities of Malabon and Navotas also saw a spike in coronavirus disease cases, the OCTA Research further said, while Manila and Marikina had slight increases.

“This increase may be due to the effects of Chinese New Year and/or Valentine’s Day. It cannot be ruled out that a SARS-Cov2 variant is involved in the sudden spikes,” its report read.

The country has detected 44 cases of the more transmissible variant first discovered in the United Kingdom. More samples of COVID-positive patients are undergoing genome sequencing to detect the presence of the new variant.