BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Department of Health ordered Purok Mahimulaton in Barangay Banago, Bacolod City, sealed off yesterday after 13 of its residents, who had been in close contact with the COVID-19 positive carpenter who died recently, tested positive for the virus, Banago Brgy. Captain Ricky Mijares said yesterday.
Mijares said that starting today, the barangay and the city government will provide food assistance to about 633 households affected by the lockdown as ordered by the DOH through City Health Officer Dr. Ma. Carmela Gensoli.
He said the 13 people who tested positive of the virus are all members of the family of the 64-year-old carpenter who died on July 15 in a hospital. They live in two houses inside a compound at Purok Mahimulaton.
The patient had no travel history, Mijares added.
Dr. Grace Tan, Bacolod Inter-Agency Task Force Against Covid-19 spokesperson, said the 13 persons and the carpenter’s neighbors, are among the 19 people they have contact-traced.
Tan said they received the results Thursday evening and the 13 persons are now in the city’s quarantine facility.
Residents of Mahimulaton complained that they were not prepared for the lockdown because it was hastily implemented. Policemen were assigned in the area to ensure that no one will be able to go out or enter the purok
As of yesterday, other areas also sealed off were one house in Purok Paghidaet, Brgy. 29, five houses in Purok Riverside, Barangay Banago. and 30 houses in Purok Masanag I, Brgy.26.
The whole Purok Seaside in Brgy.Tangub was also sealed off after a liaison officer assigned to the Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports (BAYS) Center, his mother and sister tested positive for COVID-19. All three are now confined in a hospital.
Tan said local cases of COVID-19 have increased in Bacolod since close contacts of COVID positive patients are the ones being infected. This shows that people can get infected anywhere.
She reminded the public to observe minimum health protocols like wearing of face mask and social distancing.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, IATF chairman, said Mayor Evelio Leonardia will be meeting with the doctors from the Philippine Medical Society today to seek their opinion and to make an assessment of the situation. He said the status of Bacolod will depend on the national IATF.
Familiaran said he considers the situation alarming because if the virus is not contained, Bacolod could become like Cebu. The DOH and health authorities have already issued advisories and tips on how to avoid transmission.
“It is important to impose self discipline. Our fate will depend on the cooperation of everyone,” he added.*