Authorities lock down villages amid COVID-19 fears

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Albay (CNN Philippines, March 28) — Three villages in Legazpi were placed under ‘lockdown’ on Friday in an effort to contain the coronavirus disease in the city, Mayor Noel Rosal has said.

Affected are Barangay 8, Barangay 13 and Barangay 14, Rosal said in a Facebook post. The mayor also ordered to have the villages disinfected.

The regional health department confirmed that there are now four cases of COVID-19 in Bicol Region, one of whom is in Legazpi City.

Rosal said one of the people infected with COVID-19 in Bicol was an American man, who arrived in the city sometime in March. He has rented a house in Barangay 13, the mayor added.

The foreign national consulted at the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital because of his cough, the local chief said. He was then tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which causes COVID-19.

After his specimen was taken, “he went missing,” authorities said. The foreign national turned out to have the virus, Rosal said. Police searched for him upon the orders of the Legazpi mayor. He was found and is now isolated in a house in Barangay 8 along with his girlfriend. Health authorities are monitoring their medical conditions, with police officials guarding their whereabouts.

Contact tracing is also being conducted to prevent the spread of the virus.

Bicol-based Stringer Rosas Olarte contributed to this report