A total of 16 areas in Metro Manila are under granular lockdown as Alert Level 3 has been raised in the National Capital Region (NCR) from January 3 to 15, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.
PNP data showed that 14 areas are under the jurisdiction of the Northern Police District and one each for the Manila Police District and Southern Police District.
Nationwide, the number of areas under granular lockdown also increased from eight to 27, including the NCR, Mimaropa, and the Cordillera regions.
NCR Police Office (NCRPO) Chief, Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., reiterated his call for the stricter implementation of guidelines and health protocols to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the communities, especially amid the rise in the number of cases and the Omicron variant.
“We will be strict in the implementation of laws and ordinances to protect our citizens from this deadly virus,” Danao said in a statement.
At the NCRPO, 14 active cases were recorded as of January 2, after reporting just one active case on December 27 last year.
Aside from the NCR, the provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, and Cavite have also been placed under Alert Level 3 following the rising number of Covid-19 cases in these areas.
Under Alert Level 3, a 30 percent indoor venue capacity and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity will be allowed for some activities, provided employees are fully vaccinated.
However, face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education; contact sports, except those conducted under the bubble-type setup; funfairs/carnivals and kid amusement industries; venues with live voice or wind instrument performers and audiences; casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments; and gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household will be prohibited.
Random inspection of quarantine hotels
On Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año directed Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos, to conduct random inspection in the quarantine hotels to determine if all individuals subject to isolation are following the health protocol.
Carlos said the police will make sure that health protocols are strictly implemented particularly in the areas under more stringent Alert Level 3 status.
“This will give the PNP the authority to intensify our inspection of these establishments since there is a directive from the DILG. These inspection rounds will be unannounced and shall be conducted randomly to determine which establishments are compliant with Public Health protocols. Let this be a warning that there is no room for complacency during this health emergency,” Carlos said in a press statement on Tuesday.
Año’s directive came after Gwyneth Anne Chua, a returning Filipino traveler from the United States, was able to skip quarantine procedures at Berjaya Hotel and attended a party a day after arrival. She infected several other partygoers after testing positive for Covid-19.
“We believe that police visibility will serve the purpose to monitor how the quarantine hotels are accommodating their guests who are required to isolate while waiting for the completion of the required number of quarantine days,” Carlos said. (PNA)