Caraga steps up measures vs. COVID-19

Published March 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY — Following the declaration of a national health emergency, local government units (LGUs) and all concerned line agencies of the government in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region have heightened their preparation to prevent the entry of 2019 coronavirus disease or COVID-19 in the region.

Officials of this region’s premier and capital city of Butuan led by Mayor Engr. Ronnie Vicente C. Lagnada and Butuan City and Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Lawrence Lemuel Fortun mobilized their health officers, staff and personnel to formalize contingencies against the problem.

“Do not panic, instead, we must protect our citizens and everybody must implement precautionary measures such as frequent hand washing and cleanliness,”  Mayor Lagnada and Rep. Fortun both said in a joint directive.

Meanwhile, the regional officials of the Department of Health (DOH) also conducted frequent meetings with stakeholders to initiate more precautionary measures in an effort to prevent the entry of the dreaded disease.

“We already convened our stakeholders, the chiefs of hospitals both public and private to check their preparedness,” stressed DOH 13 Regional Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna Jr.

The region’s top health official also said that isolation wards and dedicated areas in public hospitals are prepared for COVID-19 patients.

He likewise asked private hospitals spread in the five provinces and six cities in Caraga region that the DOH will provide them any assistance in relation to COVID-19.  The officials pointed out that the region is still free of COVID -19.

As of Tuesday, Caraga region has only 8 PUMs who are under close monitoring while 47 ‘persons under monitoring’ (PUMs) had already done their 14 day isolation and they are cleared or “negative” of this disease.

In a related development, the regional office of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Caraga region has “definitely” postponed the scheduled 2020 Caraga Regional Athletic Meet (2020 CRAM) on Friday, March 13 in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte.

The regional office of DepEd-13 said the postponement was in accordance with a department memorandum by the DepEd central office.

Following the postponement of the regional sporting event, Surigao del Norte Gov. Atty. Francisco T. Matugas and province’s First District Rep. Francisco Jose “Bingo” F. Matugas ll said the decision was primarily aimed at the safety of more than 7,000 athletes and coaches from all over the region.

“This is for the good of everybody against this dreaded disease,”  Matugas said, as he assured the 2020 CRAM officials, staff and athletes that they will announce the future date of the region’s sporting event.