Before the country started slowly reopening, I still remember how proud I was of our 2-week (or so) streak of not having any new COVID-19 cases in our barangay of BF Homes in Parañaque. Our number of cases was in the 50s at the time. Things have changed a lot since the country slowly started reopening businesses and easing up on restrictions, though.
As of writing, BF Homes – the biggest barangay in the Metro – has recorded more than 300 cases, including 40 new cases within the past week alone. Sun Valley (also in Parañaque) has recorded 46 new cases in the past week. Parañaque as a whole has now reached 1,944 confirmed cases (as of July 18) with 1,017 recoveries and 72 deaths.
Barangay BF Homes says this increase might be “attributed to our proactive measures in mass targeted testing and identification of cases through contact tracing”, while Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez attributes it to the residents in the slum areas, who are hardheaded and uncooperative, and do not respect the daily reminders on health and quarantine protocols.
This has caused Mayor Olivarez to warn Parañaque residents that he might put the whole city under a 2-week lockdown if things don’t get better. This comes after the Parañaque government locked down several areas in the city earlier this month with hopes of keeping COVID-19 at bay. Navotas has recently been put on a 2-week lockdown due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in the area, as well.
In a memorandum last week, Mayor Olivarez has directed “strict enforcement and to exercise full vigilance in the implementation of the health standards on the use of face masks, strict physical distancing, crowding in public places and in all major streets”. He has also ordered the filing of criminal charges against parents who let their kids loiter outside without wearing face masks and past the allotted curfew.
In a statement last weekend, Mayor Olivarez called on Parañaque residents to please work together in battling COVID-19. “At this critical moment, I’m appealing again to my constituents to come together to defeat this terrible disease. Each of us has a role to play, whether through unselfishness or humanity,” he said.
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