Iloilo City’s seashore villages could be potential time bombs

Posted by watchmen
August 26, 2020
Posted in OPINION

“After all it really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.” – Margaret Chan


The case of a fish broker who died after being tested positive of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the Iloilo City Fishing Port Complex recently should not be taken lightly.

Where there is smoke, there is fire, as the saying goes. 

I grew up in the area near the fishing port, which can be accessed from the City Proper’s seashore villages, namely: Barangay Rima, Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala Zone I and Zone II, Barangay Rizal Estanzuela, Barangay Tanza-Baybay, Barangay Tanza-Bonifacio, and Barangays South and North Baluarte.

Because of their locations, these villages are vulnerable to COVID-19 infections when precautionary measures are lowered down.

Their proximity to the fishing port complex makes them exposed to possible infection if they don’t observe proper social distancing and other protocols imposed by the Department of Health.

Even Barangay Calumpang and Barangay Calaparan down to the Arevalo district are in danger of being infected if village and health authorities will not lower their guards.

A no none sense contract tracing must be done in the aforementioned villages as soon as possible and the lockdown must be strictly enforced to make sure the pandemic will not spread in that coastline area that stretches from the City Proper to Arevalo district.



Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect us, our family, and our community.

Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by letting residents there know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

It will also help residents who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested and ask them to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they are a close contact.

Since there is now a confirmed dead in the fishing port, people there should start staying away from others, especially those who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with other medical conditions, if possible.

If they have been around someone with COVID-19, residents in the villages we mentioned should stay home away from others for 14 days (self-quarantine) after their last contact with that person and monitor their health.



If they start to develop a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19, they should continue to stay home and away from others (except to get medical care or testing, if recommended).

If they need support or assistance while in self-quarantine, their health department or community organizations may be able to provide assistance.

At this juncture, they should watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

Health authorities said symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19.

Residents should be assured that discussions with health department staff are confidential.

This means that their personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know.

Their names will not be shared with those they came in contact with. The health department will only notify people they were in close contact with (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) that they might have been exposed to COVID-19.

No one knows if the COVID-19 is now spreading in these residential areas which are thickly populated and where one of the most problematic National Housing Authority (NHA) projects is located.



I recently surveyed the Midtown Manhattan, the place that symbolizes New York City, and noticed something alarming: there’s a real danger for customers of spreading the coronavirus at bars where densely packed drinkers breathe into each other’s faces.

Besides rules for lower density, mask-wearing and other viral-blocking steps, there’s an obvious way to more effectively minimize risk: No more bars inside restaurants.

Some restaurants will ultimately be forced to close if they won’t be able to cope with the new rules now that they have been heavily regulated.

“Most owners came to terms with the new requirements months ago and launched good-faith efforts to live up to them—only to have (Governor Andrew) Cuomo postpone indoor service that was supposed to be part of the Phase Three reopening on July 7,” observed New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo.



Alex P. Vidal, who is based in New York City, used to be the editor for two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ

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