ALABEL, Sarangani (June 19, 2020) – Sarangani Province strengthens its health and safety measures as Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF) and Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) are expected to cause the spike of Covid-19 cases in the province.
On June 15, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Arvin Alejandro reported that Sarangani has already three Covid-19 positive cases and two of these were ROF and LSI.
“One was our very first case from Maitum at itong dalawa ay mga bagong kaso na kabilang sa mga sinundo natin na mga ROFs and LSIs,” said Alejandro. “One of these cases was a 24-year old male patient from Glan who was with the cases at General Santos City from Cebu who arrived last May 31, and the other one was a 28-year old female patient from Alabel who was an OFW from Kuwait who arrived at Gensan Airport via Philippine Airlines flight on June 10.”
Alejandro said the OFW was “fetched by the municipal rescue team from Gensan Airport and upon thorough assessment at the municipal quarantine facility, it was found out that the patient had signs and symptoms since May 15 pa when she was still in Kuwait and upon arriving in Manila, the patient was quarantined alinsunod doon sa ating national guidelines and protocols.”
While under quarantine, the patient suffered from loss of appetite, loss of smell, had a diarrhea, “but the sore throat and fever has started last May 15 pa.”
The patient also disclosed that “in the quarantine facility in Kuwait there were no testing conducted and the sad point is, there are some who have signs and symptoms yet only one has conducted a PCR test, the one who fainted.”
But Alejandro said, “in our level, we have nothing to worry about because everything and everyone has undergone thorough strict health and quarantine protocols.”
“Also, these flights have been coordinated with the Bureau of Quarantine, City Health Offices of Davao and Misamis Oriental kung saan meron din tayong mga sinusundo na mga repatriates na taga Sarangani, so every ROF and LSI is well monitored.”
Alejandro said the medical and rescue staff who accommodated the repatriates underwent proper health protocols before and after fetching.
“The municipal fetching team had also followed our protocols, they were tested with PCR, there were nine who were identified. One is the companion of the patient from Kuwait on the plane kasi dalawa yan sila, there were also four MDDRM personnel and three health personnel and lahat yan sila were already quarantined,” Alejandro added.
Alejandro also clarified that “pina-swab na din natin ang lahat ng members ng fetching team even if the criteria for close contact was not achieved pati yung driver to ensure yung kanilang safety, and naka-PPE din ito sila nung sinundo ang ating mga patients and they have properly taken in and out the PPEs following the protocol, so wala tayong dapat ikabahala.”
The health officer urged the public to avoid discriminating the health and rescue personnel fetching the repatriates “because what they are doing is for the benefit of the community.”
“This is something that we need to prepare at the community level na dapat maintindihan nila na as long as nasa quarantine facility and is able to comply with the minimum requirement and for as long as proper measures are being established wag tayong matakot,” Alejandro said.
As of June 16, all the patients have been admitted at Sarangani Health Care Facility and are under stable condition.
Alejandro updated that “these two new patients were already stable and recuperating sa ating Covid facility except that they need to complete the 14 days quarantine as a recovery period.”
“Yung ating patient sa Glan is bumubuti na ang kalagayan and nakitaan na nagiging okay yung kondisyon at kapag full blast na yung kanyang immunity against Covid and nag-negative na sya sa ating gagawing PCR test, we can send the patient home already that will also help us to minimize our expenses during sa quarantine period.”
About the first Covid case in Sarangani, Dr. Alejandro disclosed that “his fourth anti-body was tested negative and we are now down to our fifth and last anti-body test this week.”
Alejandro cautioned the public to “expect more Covid cases but not through local transmission. This expectation may be coming from our OFWs and LSIs na di naman natin ma-avoid kasi kawawa naman din sila doon sa Manila pero hopefully on the national level, they really have to be very strict para di naman kawawa yung mga LGUs.”
Alejandro also reminded the public that the very strong weapon to avoid being infected by Covid-19 is to continue the social distancing, wearing of facemask and proper handwashing.
“These are still very basic things na dapat any individual right now should have been implementing. Hindi dapat tayo matakot because these are actually things that would prevent the transmission of the disease,” he added. (Joshua John Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)