A former barangay official is in hot water for breaching quarantine protocols, forcing the Quezon City government to enforce a total lockdown on a street where he resides.
According to Mayor Joy Belmonte, the city government has placed 31 Zamboanga St. on total lockdown after a former barangay councilman, whom she did not identify, tested positive for the virus.
Based on a report, Belmonte said the former councilman and other members of his family underwent swab testing after his son was tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), after a drinking session with another positive individual.
“The family has been ordered to undergo quarantine while waiting for the result of their swab tests, but he failed to comply,” the Mayor said.
When the former barangay official’s swab test came back positive, Belmonte ordered the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU), headed by Dr. Rolly Cruz, to immediately conduct contact tracing.
“After our contact tracing, we determined that 15 individuals who had close contact with him need to undergo swab testing,” said Dr. Cruz.
Cruz also recommended that the street be placed on total lockdown so the CESU can closely monitor the condition of the 26 families living in the area.
The city government is preparing to file charges against the former barangay official and his son, per Ordinance No. SP-2958 S-2020, which prohibits breaching of quarantine protocols.
“Napag-alaman natin na pasaway itong dating opisyal na ito dahil lumabas at nakisalamuha pa siya sa mga kapitbahay kahit na naghihintay sila ng resulta ng anak niyang nagpa-swab test,” Barangay Community Relations Department head Ricky Corpuz said.
According to City Attorney Nino Casimiro, persons who break quarantine may be physically returned to quarantine by barangay and/or City officials, with police assistance, if necessary under the said Ordinance.
“Papanagutin natin siya at ang kanyang anak sa kanilang ginawa na naglagay sa buong komunidad sa panganib,” said Casimiro.
The QCHD may re-adjust the quarantine period of the violators accordingly and may require them to isolate instead in a quarantine facility of the City.
Violators will also be penalized P1,000, P3,000 and P5,000 for the first, second and third offense, respectively.
They may also face appropriate charges under Republic Act No. 11332 or the the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” or any other applicable law.