ALABEL, Sarangani (July 2, 2020) – Sarangani province and its municipalities continue to heighten efforts in containing COVID-19 as new cases spike among Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) in the province.
On July 1, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Arvin Alejandro said the province has recorded five active Covid-19 positive cases.
But on the other hand, as of July 1, the Department of Health confirmed on Facebook seven total Covid-19 positive cases in Sarangani.
Dr. Alejandro said the latest is a 52-year-old ROF from Maasim with a travel history from Manila who resulted positive in the RT-PCR test.
“She is from Barrio Site in Maasim, arrived in Sarangani directly to the municipal quarantine facility, particularly in a school sa Colon 2AM of June 21, and a swab was taken and found out to be positive sa COVID,” Alejandro said.
Presently, the patient is already admitted at the Sarangani Healthcare Facility and is in a stable condition.
Maasim Mayor Zyrex Pacquiao, however, placed Bo. Site under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) after being identified as a critical zone for COVId-19, through Executive Order No. 01-2019-55.
Mayor Pacquiao said the action was taken in order to expand the contact tracing for the town’s first Covid-19 case and prevent the possible spread of the disease.
“Si Maasim patient naay mga relatives nga dili siguro nakasabot sa status ug unsay mahitabo kung magduol sila sa ilang relative na OFW. That is why with our information, nahibaw-an nato nga naay mga 25 na relatives nga nagduol didto sa atong pasyente. This has been traced already, and we have identified 19 who have been in close contact to the patient. And na-swab na ni sila tanan kaning 19 and currently isolated and close-monitored,” said Alejandro.
“We went there, together with the governor, and nahisgutan nato that we will be implementing, or the municipality will be implementing the new National Task Force guideline on zoning, wherein the Bo. Site per se has been categorized as the critical zone, hence the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) shall be implemented.”
Alejandro said under ECQ “only really essential travels, only one per household ang allowed, and there shall be no new entry from outsiders. And then yung GCQ natin is yung mga essential workers makagawas sila, mas loosen konti ang security.”
Also, according to Mayor Pacquiao, Purok 4b, Colon and Sitio San Roque in Barangay Malbang are considered Containment Zone and will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ); Colon Proper and Chapter Malipayon, Malbang shall be considered Buffer Zone and will follow protocols under general community quarantine (GCQ); while other places not mentioned shall be considered as Outside Buffer Zones.
Critical Zone is an area/s where a new case or clustered Covid-19 cases are identified in the past seven days, Containment Zone are areas without new Covid-19 cases but are adjacent to the Critical Zone, while Buffer Zones are areas without new Covid-19 cases but are adjacent to the Containment Zone.
Mayor Pacquiao said family members and other relatives of the patient have breached protocols and visited her while under isolation.
“We need the social media, the tri-media and the local leaders to disseminate the information of the importance of social or physical distancing, to disseminate the information of extending a bit more up to 14 days na mag-sacrifice lang sa nga dili sa muduol sa atong mga OFWs ug LSIs, and as well as our LSIs and OFWs to understand nga dili sa pugson nga makaduol ang relatives nila during the quarantine period because this is for the safety of everybody,” Dr. Alejandro said.
“We have our police at ating mga sundalo who will help us in the security during the ECQ or GCQ or in MGCQ kasi we still need to screen yung mga pumapasok sa atin. Dako ang tabang nila especially in the contact tracing, because they have the manpower. Our health staff, on the other hand, should be responsible only supposedly on any health-related issues service provision. So tabangay ta tanan,” he added. (Jori Mae Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)