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COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in Barrio Luz with 82 new cases

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Reporter/CDN Digital | April 17,2020 - 04:50 PM

Barangay Luz in Cebu City leads the entire region in the number of COVID-19 positive cases. The densely-populated barangay has reported  82 new cases on Friday, April 17, 2020. | Photo courtesy of Cebu City PIO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Barrio Luz in Cebu City has the highest number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the entire Central Visayas region and its numbers continue to soar exponentially in just one week.

On Sunday, April 12, 2020, Cebu City Health recorded one symptomatic case in Sitio Zapatera, Barrio Luz. This lone case infected two asymptomatic individuals the next day, April 13, 2020, and another six by Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

On Wednesday, the number of infected individuals rose to 21 cases, and the day after that, another 24 cases were recorded.  Then on Friday, April 17, 2020, Sitio Zapatera recorded a whopping 82 new cases.

All but the first case are asymptomatic and only the first case has been hospitalized while the rest are being isolated from the community.

This number was based on the 360 swab samples, representing 3.6 percent of the total population of the sitio, which has more or less 10,000 residents.

The total number of positive cases in Sitio Zapatera now stands at 135, accounting for 37.5 percent of those who were tested.

Mayor Edgardo Labella expressed concern over the rapid rise of positive cases in the area, but he attributed this to the mass testing being done following the first case.

“Expect gyod ta nga modaghan kay nagisige naman og test,” said the mayor during a press conference on Friday afternoon.

The rapid rise of cases is also attributed to the community setup itself as the sitio is a densely populated area with mostly informal settlers living there.

Luz Barangay Captain Ronelio Sab-a, on the other hand, said the sitio is isolated from the rest of the barangay by roads and this, he said, could help deter the spread of the virus.

Labella has put the entire village under total lockdown on Friday based on the recommendation of the Department of Health which is expecting a continuous spread of the virus in the area.

The mayor wants Sitio Zapatera to be barricaded with shipping containers to prevent the entry into the area of non-residents. The military has also been deployed in the area to guard the place and ensure that its isolation will remain unhampered.

“This is the reason why we reiterate that people stay at home and follow the guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ),” said the mayor.

He said that the numbers will continue to rise if the people will not cooperate with the government. The mayor appealed to the public to help flatten the curve by staying put. /rcg

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