QC’s Special Concern Lockdown helps detect, isolate more COVID-19 cases

The move to put various areas under Special Concern Lockdown (SCL) has enabled the Quezon City government to detect and isolate more coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in densely populated areas.

“We’re able to find new cases and prevent the risk of spreading the disease by immediately transferring positive cases to our HOPE community care facilities or to hospitals,” said Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of the QC-Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (ESU) of the QC Health Department.

“Imagine if those areas haven’t been placed under SCL, people who might be carrying the disease can easily go in and out of their homes and spread the virus around their communities,” he added.

Between May to June 5, 2020, 4,013 residents from areas under SCL underwent rapid testing, with 240 coming back positive for IGg and IGM.

The first batch of confirmatory swab testing for those positive for IGg and IGM came back with 53 positive cases while the rest were negative, according to Cruz. Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo, for his part, said the SCL proved to be an effective strategy in preventing the spread of the deadly virus in communities.

“This strategy is effective because we are able to zero-in on areas that need extra attention and identify clustering of positive cases,” said Kimpo.

“Through a targeted and scientific approach, we are able to focus our health resources given the vastness of our city, and the results are encouraging for the continuation of this methodology,” he added.

As of June 10, the local government has lifted the SCL in the following areas after completing the 14-day lockdown period, most with extension, without discovering new COVID-19 cases after additional testing:

Dakila St., Kalayaan B, and Masbate St. in Barangay Batasan Hills; Vargas St., GK Ancop, and Certeza Compound in Barangay Culiat;

Lower Gulod in Barangay Sauyo; Victory Ave, BMA Ave., Agno St., and ROTC Hunters in Barangay Tatalon;

and Howmart Road in Barangay Baesa. Currently, the areas under SCL are Sitio Militar in Barangay Bahay Toro, Calle 29 in Barangay Libis, and Kaingin Bukid in Barangay Apolonio Samson.

The city, meanwhile, is coordinating with various barangays that are reporting the need to place certain areas in their respective jurisdictions unders SCL.

“As we continue to face this virus head on, we encourage our counterparts in the Barangays to remain focused and vigilant, and report to the City Government increases in numbers of cases, particularly in densely populated communities,” said Kimpo.