With rising number of cases nearing 600
“Mass testing in Quezon City, now!” – Anakpawis
Manila, Philippines – As confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Quezon City reaches to 583 and with the Quezon City local government declaring 28 barangays under extreme enhanced community quarantine (EECQ), the Anakpawis Party-list urged Mayor Joy Belmonte to push for the mass testing among her constituents to scientifically contain the epidemic.
“We seriously appeal to Mayor Belmonte to push for the urgent mass testing on her constituents to serve as basis for a data-driven response to the epidemic. She should not wait for April 14, the pronounced date by the national task force for the mass testing,” Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao, former Anakpawis Party-list representative said in a press statement.
The city’s EECQ declaration covered 28 barangays: B. L. Crame, Bagong Silangan, Bahay Toro, Batasan Hills, Central, Culiat, E. Rodriguez, Holy Spirit, Kalusugan, Kamuning, Maharlika, Manresa, Marilag, Matandang Balara, Paligsahan, Paltok, Pasong Tamo, Payatas, Pinyahan, R. Magsaysay, San Isidro Galas, San Roque, Socorro, South Triangle, Sto. Domingo, Tandang Sora, Tatalon and Teachers Village West. This is near 20% of the total 142 barangays in the city.
The former lawmaker raised the alarm as Barangays Batasan Hills, Payatas, Pasong Tamo are among the ten most populated barangays in the country, with 100,000 to 160,000 persons. While Tandang Sora, Bagong Silangan, Matandang Balara and Bahay Toro have 70,000 to 85,000 population. The population of the 28 barangays reaches to 1.2 million, based on the 2015 census. He also noted that the city is the 11th city with most population density of 17,000 per square kilometer.
“We also laud the mayor for her order for mandatory use of face masks and its free distribution. It is one of the doable and concrete steps to oppose the spread of the virus. Moreover, we appeal to her to guarantee relief and food aid volunteers their protection against abuses by the police, such as the incident yesterday at Barangay San Roque,” he said.
The Save San Roque support network had been operating community kitchens and carrying out relief efforts for the urban poor community, but elements of the police tear down their placards calling for aid yesterday morning.
“Mayor Belmonte should uphold the basic rights of her constituents and their supporters against this kind of harassment. We are already facing a public health emergency and the people took the task of the ‘bayanihan’ spirit, but government armed forces are out to sabotage it. The people’s basic right to food is not suspended and far more superior to any emergency or quarantine declaration,” he elaborated.
Finally, he urged various sectors in Quezon City to press the Duterte government to order the immediate mass testing in the country. ###