Marikina ‘indefinitely’ suspends Palarong Pambansa as city records 1st COVID-19 case

Published March 9, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jhon Aldrin Casinas 

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro has suspended “indefinitely” the conduct of Palarong Pambansa 2020 following the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Marikina.

The mayor said the 86-year-old male resident was one of the four confirmed cases announced by the Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday night.

“Because of the health threat posed by COVID-19, I am suspending indefinitely the Palarong Pambansa 2020 as the health of the student athletes, teachers, and family members from all regions in the country is our primordial concern,” Teodoro said in a statement.

The local chief executive said the male patient is a resident of Barangay Marikina Heights in the city, but noted that the case is not one of local transmission, because the patient has a travel history to South Korea.

“Around 11 kagabi, nakatanggap ako ng impormasyon na galing sa Department of Health (DOH) na kinokompirma nila na may positive case dito sa Marikina,” the mayor told reporters.

“Itong kaso na ito ay hindi naman local transmission kasi may travel history siya kaya malaki ang posibilidad na nakuha niya sa kanyang pinaggalingan na bansa.”

(Around 11 last night, I received information from DOH confirming a positive case in Marikina. This case is not one of local transmission because he has travel history, so there is a big possibility that he picked up the virus in the country he visited.)

After he was informed of the case, Teodoro said he immediately ordered the contact tracing of those who came in close contact with the patient.

The Health department announced late Sunday night four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 10.

The mayor has already ordered a “massive disinfection” of public areas in Marikina, including schools, malls, parks, markets, commercial establishments, and government offices.

He gave the assurance that measures to prevent the spread of the disease are in place.

The mayor said the city government will handle the containment and prevention of the spread of the disease in the city “very aggressively.”

“We will be very aggressive in containing and preventing the transmission of the coronavirus. Hindi tayo maghihintay lang ng susunod na report na meron namang pasyente na nagpositibo,” Teodoro said. (We won’t merely wait for the next report of a patient positive for the disease.)

He also ordered the postponement of assemblies, particularly those with senior citizens in attendance for they are the most susceptible to the disease.

The mayor has also advised his constituents to remain indoors and refrain from attending large gatherings. The public was also urged to observe proper hygiene, hand washing, and coughing etiquette.

The city government has already coordinated with administrators of shopping malls in the city and advised them of the proper measures to undertake to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

He also ordered that sanitizers and thermo-scanners be available at all times in schools, shopping malls, and government offices.

“Buong komunidad, nasa private sector o sa public, lahat tayo sa Marikina tulong-tulong,” he said. (The entire community, whether in the private or public sector — all of us in Marikina should be helping each other.)

According to Teodoro, the patient returned to the country on Feb. 19. He sought medical assistance early this month after experiencing difficulty in breathing, cough, and fever.

The mayor said the patient is now in isolation at a private hospital outside Marikina.

On Sunday, Teodoro suspended classes in all levels in public and in private schools in the city from Monday to Wednesday for the large-scale disinfection of the schools.

The mayor said he plans to extend the suspension of classes considering the development of the situation.

Meanwhile, Teodoro said the Health department should make a full disclosure about the COVID-19 situation in the country.
“Para sa ganun alam ng local na pamahalaan kung ano ang kailangan gawin lalo na sa contact tracing,” Teodoro said.
(So that the local government may know what they need to do, particularly about contact tracing.)

“Ang local na pamahalaan ang makakapag-conduct ng effective na contact tracing kasi alam namin kung sino ‘yung magkakapitbahay, kung sino ‘yung nakatira sa lugar na ‘yun.”

(The local government can conduct effective contact tracing because we know who the neighbors are, who live in a particular area.)