(Photo courtesy of Manila Public Information Office)

MANILA – The city government of Manila started the distribution of food boxes under the city’s Covid-19 Food Security Program (FSP) to residents of the villages that will be put under lockdown starting Thursday.

Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso on Wednesday directed city government personnel to assure that affected families will receive their food box that contains three kilos of rice, 16 pieces of canned goods, and eight sachets of coffee.

“So many were saying, 'Hindi nga kami mamamatay sa Covid, pero mamamatay naman kami sa gutom.' Pipilitin natin sa lungsod na walang pamilyang magugutom. Sa Maynila, kakain tayo (We will not die due to Covid, but we will die from hunger. We will try our best that no family will go hungry. In Manila, we will have something to eat),” Domagoso wrote on Facebook.

On Tuesday, Domagoso announced that the Malate Bayview Mansion in Adriatico Street and Hop Inn Hotel along M. H. Del Pilar Street in Barangay 699, Malate has 17 Covid-19 cases; Barangay 351 in San Lazaro, Tayuman has 12; and Barangay 725, also in Malate, has 14 cases based on the data from the Manila Health Department.

These villages and buildings will be under lockdown starting 12:01 a.m. Thursday until 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Domagoso said due to the rising number of Covid-19 infections, all villages or buildings in the city that will record 10 or more Covid-19 cases will be placed under lockdown.

Domagoso signed Executive Order No. 6 on Tuesday “declaring certain barangays or portion thereof, of the city as critical zone (CrZ) per zoning containment strategy in order to provide rapid response operation to contain the resurgence and spread of Covid-19”.

The EO will pave the way for disease surveillance and massive contact tracing, and verification or testing, and rapid risk assessment in the said areas.

"The city will never think twice about [imposing a] lockdown on districts or [more] areas kung kailangan. Kaya nga hinihikayat nga natin yung ating barangay officials na 'wag na 'wag bibitaw sa labang ito (if needed. That is why we are encouraging barangay officials not to be complacent in this fight),” Domagoso said.

He said the increase in the rate of Covid-19 transmission in the city is quite alarming and that the problem needs to be addressed immediately. (PNA)