QC gov’t sets limits on purchase of goods, tells barangays to issue pass during ECQ

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021   •   280

The government of Quezon City announced it will impose a cap on the number of items or goods that a person can purchase during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.

In a statement on Wednesday, the city government said it has set some limits on the purchase of goods to avoid hoarding and panic buying.

In the latest ECQ guidelines issued by the city government, the Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) has been mandated to implement Ordinance No. SP-2948 S-2020 or “Regulating the Selling of Basic Necessities During Calamities.”

“We have to impose limits to avoid panic buying and hoarding that may lead to supply problems and could prevent other citizens from purchasing the needs of their families during the ECQ,” Belmonte said.

“Mas mabuti na ngayon pa lang ay nakalatag na ang polisiyang ito upang magkaroon ng pagkakataon ang lahat na makabili ng kanilang pangangailangan,” she added.

Under the said ordinance, a customer may only purchase five cans per brand of sardines while the purchase of other canned goods such as meat loaf and corned beef is limited to 10 cans per brand, among other goods.

Belmonte, however, assured residents that there is enough food supply in Quezon City while the delivery of goods will remain unhampered during the ECQ.

The local policy will take effect on midnight of August 6.

Metro Manila will be placed under ECQ from August 6 to 20. During this period, curfew hours will start from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. as agreed earlier by the Metro Manila Council.

Under the ECQ protocol, only persons going to and from work, authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) and those who have confirmed vaccination schedules are allowed to go out.

Dine-in, whether indoor or outdoor, is not allowed but restaurants and other food establishments may provide take-out or delivery services.

Belmonte also ordered the revival of quarantine passes issued by the barangay to no more than one person per household, preferably to a person who is fully-vaccinated and otherwise does not have a company ID or other APOR ID.

A ban on the selling of liquor and the operation of personal care services such as barbershops, nail spas, parlors and salons will also be implemented.

The mayor also mandated essential businesses that operate indoor facilities, such as supermarkets, palengkes and the like, to limit their capacity to ensure at least a two-meter distance among customers and ensure sufficient ventilation.

Business establishments allowed to operate should strictly implement the Kyusi Pass digital contact tracing method.

“A lessee inside a larger establishment (such as individual stores inside a mall) should also have its own KyusiPass contact tracing log. All establishments, institutions and facilities are required to provide their QR code scanners as mandated under the City’s Kyusi Pass Ordinance,” the city government said.

Quezon City gov’t looking into possible causes of COVID-19 spread in 2 convents

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

The Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) is currently looking into the possible causes of COVID-19 outbreak in two convents in the city, the local government said Thursday.

In a statement, the city government said massive contact tracing efforts are underway to contain the further transmission of the virus.

A total of 114 individuals, including 64 nuns and 50 staff members, tested positive for COVID-19 at the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) in Cubao.

At the Convent of the Holy Spirit, 22 individuals were confirmed to have caught the virus, including 13 nuns and 9 staff members.

The city government said both facilities have been placed under lockdown.

CESU chief Dr. Rolando Cruz said they became aware of the situation after the cases were recorded in the surveillance data reported by a testing laboratory.

“Hindi po tayo ang nag-swab sa kanila. Nagpa-test po sila sa iba at nang lumabas na ang resulta sa laboratory, na-record ito sa surveillance data,” he said in the same statement.

“Now, our team is conducting an investigation and intensive contact tracing to get more details about the matter,” he added.

Cruz said part of the ongoing investigation is to determine if any of the positive individuals had any close contact with anyone outside of their facility.

Initial investigation revealed that a nun at the Convent of Holy Spirit passed away due to COVID-19 in early September. A physical therapist in the facility was reportedly exposed to the patient.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier ordered the CESU to conduct active surveillance of closed settings in the city such as nursing homes and convents after 122 people, including 99 children, in an orphanage tested positive for COVID-19.

Public urged to cooperate as NCR shifts to quarantine alert levels system

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has called for public cooperation as the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns and quarantine alert levels system in the National Capital Region (NCR) begins Thursday.

In a statement, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the public can help ensure the success of the test by strictly adhering to protocols and being mindful of their own protection from the dreaded COVID-19.

“Sa pag-umpisa ng Alert Level 4 at granular lockdown sa Metro Manila ngayong araw, muling nakikiusap ang inyong PNP sa ating mga kababayan na makiisa at isapuso ang mga alintuntuning ipinapatupad para sa kaligtasan ng lahat,” he said.

Authorities on Thursday began the pilot implementation of the new alert levels system in Metro Manila that seek to curb COVID-19 cases and allow some industries to resume operations.

Metro Manila has been placed under alert level 4 due to high case counts and healthcare utilization rate.

Under the second highest alert level, certain restrictions will be imposed on establishments and activities that are classified as 3 Cs – closed spaces, crowded areas, and activities that promote close contact.

The policy allows certain indoor activities under specific seating capacity for fully vaccinated individuals. Granular lockdowns will also be implemented in particular barangays, buildings and other areas with high infection rate.

In the duration of the said system, curfew hours will be shortened to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Eleazar said police personnel will also continue to implement quarantine and public health protocols.

“Naniniwala ang inyong PNP na ang patuloy na pagsuway ng ilan nating kababayan ay isa sa mga dahilan ng pagtaas ng kaso. Kaya hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan na isa-puso ang mga alintuntuning ito kasama ang pagrespeto sa mas maraming bilang ng mga Pilipino na sumusunod sa mga patarakan at ang pagbibigay ng malasakit sa ating mga healthcare workers na bugbog na sa patuloy na pagdami ng mga kaso ng COVID,” he said.

Data from the PNP showed that a total of 224,626 violators were accosted in Metro Manila alone for violation of the minimum public health safety from August 21 to September 15 when the National Capital Region is under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

A total of 87,729 were accosted for curfew violation and another 15,296 for violation of the ban on unnecessary travel for non-Authorized Persons Outside Residence.

In the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, a total of 1,153,833 violators were accosted for violating of public health protocols, curfew and prohibition on unnecessary travels from August 21 to September 15, the PNP said.

Quezon City eyes vaccinating over 267K minors vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   September 15, 2021

The Quezon City government on Wednesday said it is now preparing for the registration and inoculation of the younger population against COVID-19.

In a press statement, the city government said it is looking to vaccinate around 267,000 students aged 12 to 17 when it starts the rollout of the vaccination for minors.

The local government said its QC Task Force Vax to Normal is currently working with public and private schools to determine the number of currently enrolled students aged 12-17 years.

“We are closely working with our private and public schools because the strategy now is to put up sites in their campuses and school grounds,” QC Task Force Vax to Normal Co-chair Joseph Juico said.

As for the out-of-school youth, homeschooled and students enrolled outside the city, Juico said the task force is coordinating with barangay officials for proper enlisting.

The online booking system developed by the city will also be activated to schedule their inoculation once the vaccines for children become available.

This data will then be used as a basis for the allocation and registration of this age group for the vaccines, it added.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the vaccination of minors may be implemented soon as the city already inoculated around 80 percent of its eligible population.

“It is now time to shift our attention to minors because they are also vulnerable to the virus. Moreover, they comprise about 30% of the city’s approximately 3.1 million population and it is impossible to reach herd immunity or 80% of total population without including them,” Belmonte said in the same statement.

As of September 15, the city said it has administered 1,750,537 first doses or 102.97 % of its target population. Fully vaccinated individuals stood at 1,232,681 or 72.51 % of the target population.

Data from the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) showed that as of September 14, the city has recorded a total of 13,441 cases of COVID-19 among children aged 0 to 17.

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