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DILG mulls localized lockdowns

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday said that localized lockdowns may also be enforced in neighborhood, sitios and even subdivisions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

He clarified that these areas may be subjected to this protocol similar to the barangays when the need arises as the country faces an uphill battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Referring to this operational framework as “zoning’’, Año identified the areas with fast doubling time of COVID-19 cases as critical zones, where people are prohibited from entering and leaving the said places.

Explaining further, Año said places around the critical zones are the containment zones where measures similar to general community quarantine (GCQ) are imposed.

He said that nearby areas outside the containment zone is the buffer zone. Unlike in the containment zone, business operations are allowed in this section.

Año emphasized that the local governments have the authority to declare these zones with the concurrence of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

The DILG chief also has recognized the hardships felt by the public with the quarantine protocols being imposed but reiterated that these measures are absolutely necessary to prevent the worsening of the COVID-19 crisis. (Chito Chavez)