Following the confirmation of the presence of the United Kingdom variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Mayor Joy Belmonte reiterated that there is no need for a lockdown in Kamuning, Quezon City, where the patient resides.
Mayor Belmonte explains that upon arrival on January 7, the patient and his companion were immediately tested and stayed in a quarantine hotel as protocol. The following day, it was confirmed he was COVID-19 positive. He was immediately picked-up by the BHERT of Brgy Kamuning and brought to one of the city’s isolation facilities.
His sample was then sent to the Philippine Genome Center. On the night of January 13, the city government and the city health department were informed by the Department of Health that he was positive for the so-called United Kingdom variant. His two previous tests, the first before leaving Manila on December 27 and the second upon arriving in Dubai, were both negative.
“There is no need to lockdown Kamuning or any parts of it as the patient did not even set foot in the community upon his arrival, nor did he meet his family. We only implement lockdowns or what we call special concern lockdowns when we see that there is a clustering of cases in a specific area that may be indicative of community transmission. Since he did not go home, there is clearly no reason why we should impose any lockdown,” Mayor Belmonte said.
The Mayor added that Kamuning has in fact one of the lowest numbers of COVID-positive patients, and that barangay officials have been proactively monitoring its residents.
The mayor lamented that some residents are experiencing discrimination due to the fact that they too live in the same community, citing reports that some Kamuning residents were told not to report for work by their employers.
“Our anti-discrimination ordinance remains in force. Do not discriminate people from Kamuning because there is no need to fear them as possible carriers of the new COVID-19 variant,” Mayor Belmonte added.
Barangay Kamuning Barangay Captain Armie Castel shared that they are continuously implementing strict health protocols and city guidelines.
“The basic health protocols are aggressively being implemented in our barangay especially in public areas such as markets and terminals. We will continue to monitor our residents so that we can maintain our low number of COVID-19 cases. We assure everyone that Barangay Kamuning is safe,” Castel said.
Members of the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) who transported the patient to the isolation facility have been tested and will undergo the 14-day quarantine as part of the precautionary measures the city is undertaking.