Around 600 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) are staying in temporary shelters amid the ban in public transportation under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces.
Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV on Thursday, Hatid Tulong Program lead convenor Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo said some of these LSIs were previously waiting for trips to provinces at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
“Nakatanggap po kami ng abiso sa Inter-Agency Task Force, ‘yun nirerespeto namin at talagang sinusunod namin, na kung puwede wala munang biyahe sa estado ng MECQ,” he said.
“Sa ngayon po, nasa 600 LSIs po tayo sa mga temporary shelter natin,”
According to Encabo, Hatid Tulong Program was suspended in compliance with the mobility restriction under the MECQ to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“May mga pailan-ilang mga LSIs na nagbabakasakali na pumupunta pa rin sa Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. 'Yun din ay binibisita namin, pinagsasabihan dahil nasa estado po tayo ng MECQ,” he said.
Encabo advised LSIs not to go to the Rizal stadium and just stay at their respective residences for the meantime.
“Antayin na lang po ang abiso kung kailan po 'yung schedule ng kanilang biyahe pauwing probinsiya,” he added.
When the operation of the program resumes, Encabo said the technical working group (TWG) will use a new approach to avoid overcrowding of LSIs where health protocols like social distancing is difficult to observe.
“Ito po 'yung tinatawag na pocket send-off o clustered send-off na kung saan bawat linggo may isang region na i-schedule namin ang pag-uwi para maiwasan na po natin ang pagkukumpulan at pagsisiksikan ng maraming LSIs sa isang venue,” he said.
Out of the 49 LSIs who tested positive in rapid testing for COVID-19, Encabo said five tested positive in swab tests. —KBK, GMA News