The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered local government units (LGUs) to organize quick response teams, should they impose localized lockdowns.

The teams will implement the government’s “test-trace-treat” strategy to help LGUs in Covid-19 management, DILG said in an advisory.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases gave LGUs authority to impose lockdowns in local Covid-19 hotspots, so non-Covid-stricken areas can open more businesses to help the economy.

Before imposing localized lockdowns, data on population, number of barangays, population density per barangay, quarantine facilities, treatment facilities, mapping of cases, syndrome surveillance and testing kits should be gathered.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that along the authority given to LGUs was the responsibility to “implement the strategy to contain the disease in the lockdown areas as well as implement social amelioration to alleviate the conditions of those affected.”

“Imposing a localized lockdown comes with it several responsibilities. LGUs must be ready to enforce stringent health protocols, aggressively conduct contact tracing, testing, and isolation to contain and prevent the spread Covid-19 in the lockdown areas, among others,” Año said.

The quick response teams to be assembled include: a health promotion and prevention team, disinfection teams, swabbing teams, contact tracing teams, medical evacuation teams, law and order teams, barangay health emergency response team and social amelioration/support teams.

The teams will be stationed at the municipal or city level emergency operations center, according to DILG.