Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte tasked the city’s health department, law and safety enforcement teams, and barangays to boost efforts in ensuring all health protocols against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are observed at all times.

Belmonte made this call after noting that the city’s positive cases have been increasing steadily for the past two weeks.

“We have observed that the public is becoming lax in taking COVID precautions. But we’d like to remind them that the virus is still very much in our midst, and this could possibly include a number of its variants. This is no time to relax,” said Belmonte.

The city has recorded a 7 percent increase in its active cases, with 1,007 cases registered on February 26 compared to 945 cases last February 12.

The mayor asserted that following minimum health protocols such as social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and avoiding big gatherings remain vital in keeping the virus from spreading.

“The local government will distribute face masks once again to all barangays especially for our indigent residents,” Belmonte added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rolando Cruz, chief of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) said the city’s strategy is hinged on early detection of suspects and clustered cases in communities, as well as quickly imposing localized lockdowns.

“But we are also looking into rapidly rolling out COVID vaccines once they become available,” said Cruz.

Cruz said the health department recommends the setting up of additional vaccination sites in the most affected barangays.

The local government has earlier identified a total of 26 inoculation sites strategically placed all over the city.