SITIO-WIDE LOCKDOWN. An armored personnel carrier from the Task Force Cebu and Bravo Company of the 47th Infantry Battalion is parked in Sitio Alaska at Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City on Wednesday afternoon (May 6, 2020). Soldiers and policemen informed the residents about the total lockdown in the sub-village due to an alarming surge of Covid-19 cases. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)

CEBU CITY – Due to the sudden surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the sub-village of Alaska in Barangay Mambaling here, Mayor Edgardo Labella on Wednesday ordered a sitio-wide total lockdown.

Labella admitted that the city government recognizes the alarming number of Covid-19 cases in four areas of Sitio Alaska, where majority of the village's 433 patients reside.

The city government, he said, has coordinated with Mambaling village chief, lawyer Gines Abellana, in implementing the indefinite lockdown starting May 5.

According to the 2015 Philippine Statistics Authority census, Barangay Mambaling has a population of 32,564.

However, the PSA could not ascertain how many are from the four areas in Sitio Alaska, where a Badjao community is also located.

“Nagkasabot nami (We have a talk) with Capt. Gines and we agreed that Sitio Alaska should be under total lockdown. Kanang Alaska dako kaayo na nga sitio, and very depressed ang area (Alaska is a big sub-village and a very depressed area),” Labella said.

He said the city government will provide residents with rice, canned goods, vitamins and hygiene kits.

He added that those asymptomatic patients from Sitio Alaska and other sub-villages in Mambaling will be transferred to the Mambaling Elementary School identified by the city government as the Barangay Isolation Center.

Authorities launched an information drive to inform residents about the start of the total lockdown.

Meanwhile, Labella also ordered lawyer Rey Gealon, Cebu City Legal Office head, to look into a group of residents in Mambaling who were shown dancing and violating the social distancing protocol in a video that circulated on social media. (PNA)