A heavily populated sitio in Cebu City now has a total of 54 residents that tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

With such a high number of infections, the Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas considered the sitio in Barangay Luz as “presumed contaminated.”

At 54 cases, Sitio Zapatera alone is where half of the 95 confirmed cases in the Central Visayas is found.

“We’ll presume that the area is contaminated and will monitor the symptomatics there (and) bring them to our hospitals,” DOH-7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas said.

This new development is probably the first time that health authorities have “presumed contaminated” a whole community.

With a high population of some 9,000 people, the sitio is home to boarders and workers in the nearby Cebu Business Park and the IT Park, in Barangay Lahug.

Since April 7, no residents of the sitio are permitted to get out of their houses no matter what the reason is and police authorities are monitoring the area round the clock to ensure this.

Barangay volunteers and city health workers are also monitoring the patients’ status while mass testing started on April 14. (Jojo Mangahis)