By Marie Marticio, Zaldy Comanda, Mike Crismundo, and Armando Fenequito
TACLOBAN CITY – Fifteen persons under investigation (PUIs) for the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) were cleared by the Department of Health (DOH) in Eastern Visayas on Wednesday.
DOH 8 said 13 PUIs have already been discharged while two others were cleared after undergoing 14-day quarantine.
Minerva Molon, DOH 8 regional director, said there is still no local transmission of the virus in the Philippines, particularly in the region which remains free of Covid-19.
She added that they are closely working with an inter-agency task force comprised of concerned agencies and local government units in responding to the Covid-19 threat.
A new PUI was admitted on February 11, the 16th in the region. She is a 25-year old Filipina from Samar Province who works in Jiangsu, China. She arrived in the Philippines for a vacation on January 30. She experienced mild sore throat, cough, and colds. Molon said they already collected samples from the PUI and are waiting for the result from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).
Sagada suspends eco-tourism activities
BAGUIO CITY – The municipal government here has suspended eco-tourism activities in Sagada, Mountain Province, famous for its “Hanging Coffin of the North.” In Executive Order No. 07-20 issued by Mayor James Pooten, the suspension order, which took effect on Thursday, February 13, covers all ecotourism activities in Sagada.
Pooten said he made the decision after holding a meeting with the officials, stakeholders, and health authorities.
“It was a difficult decision to make especially many business establishments will be affected but the safety of our residents and foreign visitors is very important,” he added.
Butuan Isolation Unit
BUTUAN CITY – The Isolation Unit of Butuan Medical Center (BMC) for patients suspected of having the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) is ready, the city government of Butuan announced on Thursday. Based on the directive of the Department of Health (DOH), the city government immediately prepared the BMC’s isolation unit/room for any possible ‘person under investigation’ (PUI) or person under monitoring (PUM). The BMC isolation unit is complete with facility including protection gear intended for medical personnel.
BMC Focal Person Anthony T. Torralba said that the hospital staff and personnel already conducted simulation exercises in the care of patient suspected to be afflicted with Covid-19.
No Covid-19 PUI or PUM has been confined.
“We are free of Covid-19 as of this time.”
DAVAO CITY – Despite the Corona Virus Disease 19 (Covid-19) scare, an official of the Philippine Coast Guard Davao observed that the number of foreign vessels docking within the ports in the region has not declined.
Coast Guard Davao Station commander Gary Laynesa said that as of January this year, they monitored an average of 15 ships docking in city.
He said majority of these are Chinese vessels that buy banana products from the region.
He assured the public that all foreign vessels undergo mandatory isolation before they are allowed to dock in the ports.
Laynesa said all foreign vessels need to drop at the designated Quarantine Anchorage area in the Davao Gulf for the 14-day mandatory isolation with the medical personnel of Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to ensure that crew members have no Covid-19.
He said that during the mandatory quarantine, no one is allowed to go down nor up the vessel without clearance from the BOQ.
After the 14-day quarantine, Laynesa said the medical team of the BOQ evaluates if they will be allowed to enter the ports in the region. If they are cleared, he said the vessels will be escorted by the officers of the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, and Philippine Ports Authority.