Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, in a virtual press conference, said that the government must impose stricter restrictions to address the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This after the City Health Department (CHD) reported that the city has recorded a 190 percent increase in new COVID-19 cases per day, or 218 cases between March 2 and 8 from 75 cases recorded from the same week last month.

“I call this a surge. I believe this demands stricter restrictions from the higher government. The local government hasn’t received any guidelines, but if we are given clearance to proceed we, in QC, would like to implement added restrictions,” said Belmonte.

Data from CHD also showed that transmission of the virus was most prevalent in households at 28 percent, followed by community or neighborhood at 16 percent, and workplace at 11 percent.

The mayor said the city government has also started consultations with barangays, commercial establishments and the Church to get suggestions on additional restrictions that should be implemented.

“As the Lenten Season approaches we will be meeting with the Bishops of Novaliches and Cubao so that together we can come up with solutions to avert further increases in numbers,” Belmonte said.

Asked about business establishments, Belmonte said any restrictions that shall be imposed on them will be based on and guided by data collected by the health department.

“We are also mulling lessening capacities of establishments and churches for maybe two weeks should this be acceptable to all stakeholders as well, just to slow the spread. We cannot afford to sacrifice sources of income when the data doesn’t warrant it yet.

The current data tells us that transmission is much higher in households and communities so we will address that first. We will put restrictions in the right places,” said Belmonte.