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QC mayor seeks clarification on vague enhanced quarantine rules

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday admitted she had yet to completely implement the enhanced community quarantine due to the lack of clear guidelines.

"Very vague pa rin hanggang ngayon ang instructions ng national government. Broad stroke pa lang ang binigay sa amin. 'Yung mga detalye ay marami pang kailangan linawin," Belmonte said.

In Saleema Refran's Tuesday report on 24  Oras, Belmonte said she had many unanswered questions.

"Eh, paano 'yung mga walang private cars? Mayor Joy, papasundo mo ba kaming lahat kung pupunta kami sa grocery? Eh, syempre sa laki at lawak ng ating lungsond, it is logistically impossible to do that," she said.

"'Yung mga daily wage earners, sagot ba ng city government? Siyempre 'yung mga pangangailangan nila at ng kanilang mga pamilya for the rest of the month," she added.

At a Monday press briefing in Malacañang, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the public would only be allowed to leave their homes for essential travel such as the purchasing of basic necessities.

Additionally, only private establishments providing such basic necessities would be allowed to remain open during the enhanced community quarantine of Luzon.

Workers for such establishments would be allowed to go out, but public transportation would not be available to them.

“‘Yung basic necessities… those will continue to operate, so, therefore, you may go to them. If there’s no public transportation then private [vehicle] or you’ll have to walk,” Nograles said.

Meanwhile, though not fully implemented in the locality, the streets of Quezon City was mostly clear of people and activity.

Along Tomas Morato, most establishments were closed with only a few exceptions, while in Kamuning, a lotto outlet remained open.

Meanwhile, a queue had formed outside a drug store as the management tried to limit the number of customers inside the store.

Though prohibited under the enhanced quarantine ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, some jeepneys and tricycles still chose to ply their routes and took on passengers. 

While Quezon City residents generally followed the strict advisory to stay indoors, many others had to go out for their livelihoods despite the threat of the virus.

QC quarantine hotel

According to Belmonte, a 67-year-old confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 case from Barangay Matandang Balara had died.

Though 22 COVID-19 positive cases remained in Quezon City, a 34-year-old Filipino male with travel history to Australia had recovered from the illness and was discharged from hospital.

New cases of the virus were, meanwhile, already confined in hospital.

On Thursday, a hotel-quarantine facility in the city would become operational. It would be manned by medical personnel from the Department of Health.

The facility would decongest full-capacity hospitals and would be used for COVID-19 positive patients and those in critical condition.

"Nauubusan na po tayo ng hospitals pati ng mga doctors na napakarami under quarantine both from the private and the public sector pati na rin ang mga gamit, 'no?" Belmonte said.

"We are just going to craft the guidelines now kung sino dapat ang manatili diyan sa vis-a-vis 'yung maiiwasan sa hospitals at kung ano 'yung proper decorum or etiquette or protocols for moving patients and for selecting which patients should be moved," she added. — Joahna Lei Casilao/DVM, GMA News