Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the city government has so far confirmed 86 resident who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) who were at the food distribution event of Councilor Franz Pumaren in Barangay Matandang Balara on May 25, 2021.
During the Laging Handa public briefing aired over state-run PTV-4 on Tuesday, Belmonte however said Pumaren has been cleared by the QC Police District (QCPD) of health protocol violations.
Based on the QCPD investigation, Pumaren properly coordinated with law enforcers and the authorities before the event.
“But having said that, I do believe that was a superspreader event because when people returned on the line, people came very close to each other and disregarded social distancing, and because some got their face shields and face masks wet, they became careless,” Belmonte said partly in Filipino of the rain-interrupted event.
An estimated 950 attended the event but not everyone was tested as there was no list of names and contact information.
Belmonte assured they learned their lessons and additional guidelines have been formulated.
She said giving food aid is not prohibited.
“I’m always asked, are we prohibiting the giving of food aid)? The answer is no. The problem is not the giving of aid. The problem is the lack of coordination and that is what we are trying to solve,” she said partly in Filipino.
Tracers are still interviewing the infected patients to identify more contacts.
They also found out that some attendees were not from Matandang Balara, making contact tracing even harder.
Others who attended Pumaren’s activity were also in other distribution events or had drinking sessions.
Currently, the city has 28 areas under the special concern lockdowns (SCL) mostly as preventive measures, especially in densely populated and depressed areas where social distancing is difficult to impose.
Residents of areas under SCL are given food assistance good for 14 days.
Belmonte reminded those planning to conduct humanitarian activities that they are required to coordinate with the local government at least three days before the actual event.
She said it will ensure that they will be compliant with minimum health standards and city ordinances.