After a month of lifting lockdowns in specific areas in the city, the Quezon City local government announced that it has placed one compound in Barangay Tandang Sora under special concern lockdown.

The special concern lockdown areas are identified alleys, streets, or compounds with clustering of cases and where quarantine protocols will be difficult to implement.

“We had to place this area under lockdown so as to stop further infections. From an index case, she has infected more people because of a social gathering,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

The index case, who was identified as an employee of a government agency with a number of COVID-19 cases, experienced some symptoms during the first week of December. Unfortunately, despite experiencing such symptoms, she together with some family members and friends celebrated a birthday in their compound. She was then tested on December 9, and it turned out positive.

A total of 81 individuals were listed as close contacts including one pregnant, seven senior citizens, and six minors. As of latest, out of the 44 individuals who were swab tested, 10 tested positive which raised the alarm and caused the implementation of special concern lockdown. Other tested close contacts are still waiting for their results.

“This is a perfect example of why it is important not to engage in any social gathering such as parties and reunions because one can get infected just by co-mingling with a symptomatic individual,” Mayor Belmonte said, stressing that the QC local government has been firm in its reminders to shun mass gatherings especially during this holiday season especially as cases continue to increase.

“If the index case could have just isolated herself and did not join the party, she would not have infected everyone in her household and even her neighbors and friends,” Dr. Rolly Cruz, Head of the Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU).

To help mitigate the increasing infection, the city government appeals to its residents to schedule visitations or hold online parties instead of gathering in one area.

“Let us celebrate the holidays in the new normal. We understand that you miss your relatives already but in order to protect them and yourself, we should celebrate separately. I ask all QC residents to please be responsible in their actions during this season,” Mayor Belmonte added.

“We owe it to our frontliners, especially our nurses and doctors, to practice minimum health protocols so that they may have a chance to be with their families during the Christmas season instead of taking care of sick patients,” she added.