Photo courtesy of Quezon City government

MANILA – The Quezon City government has recorded 18 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases of different variants that may have been contributing to the increasing number of new infections in the city.

In a press conference on Monday, QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said latest data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed a total of 13 individuals were found to have the United Kingdom B.1.1.7 variant, four with the South African variant, while they are still clarifying with DOH if the remaining case is a Brazilian variant or only a variant of concern.

Belmonte said she believes the presence of the Covid-19 UK B.1.1.7 variant and the South African variant has contributed to the cases surge.

“Ang tingin ko talaga malaki ang kinalaman ng presensya ng mga variants na ito sa biglang pagkalat ng sakit na ito, at yung mabilis na paghawa yun talaga (My view is that the presence of these variants is a big factor in the surge of Covid-19 cases, and the speed in transmission) for me is a sign that we are dealing with something,” Belmonte said.

QC Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit said the 18 individuals are in good condition and are being taken care of in the city’s quarantine facilities.

Belmonte said they are now treating and assuming that every Covid-19 case in the city is a case of the new variants.

Meanwhile, the city government said 14 areas are now under a special concern lockdown (SCL) due to the rise of Covid-19 cases with 563 affected families.

Belmonte said their comparison of indicators showed that the city recorded 75 Covid-19 cases per day from Feb. 2 to 8 but new cases surged to 218 per day from March 2 to 8 or 190.66 percent increase per day.

“I call it a surge even if higher agencies still do not call it a surge. I do believe it is a surge and I do believe that yes, this demands, stricter restrictions on the part of the government,” Belmonte said.

Belmonte said they have recorded 20 villages with increased daily active cases.

She said Barangay Maharlika has recorded the highest increase of 2,200 percent from only one case from Feb. 23 to March 1 to 23 cases recorded from March 2 to 8 followed by Barangay West Kamias that recorded 967 percent hike from only three cases from Feb. 23 to March 1 to 32 cases from March 2 to 8.

Other villages that recorded high new cases include Barangay Batasan, Commonwealth, Pasong Tamo, Holy Spirit, Tandang Sora, Matandang Balara, Payatas, Pinyahan, Socorro, Kaligayahan, Baesa, Culiat, San Bartolome, Fairview, Talipapa, Bagong Silangan, Sauyo, and South Triangle.

Belmonte said implementation of health protocols particularly wearing of face masks and face shields have been intensified to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections.

Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo said ordinance violation receipt (OVR) will be issued against violators.

“People should know na kapag hindi nila tinubos yung kanilang OVR, tatatak ito sa kanilang police clearance and that will prevent them from getting one and tatatak ito sa record ng lahat ng kagawaran sa ating pamahalaang lungsod at hindi sila makaka access ng kahit anong social services sa ating pamahalaang lungsod (If they do not pay for their OVR, it will be marked against their police clearance and that will prevent them from getting one and it will also be recorded in the departments of the city government and they will not be able to access any social services from the LGU),” Kimpo said. (PNA)