Eastern Visayas remains COVID-19 free

Published March 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN City – Eastern Visayas remains free of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as of Friday, March 13.

According to the Department of Health in Region 8 (DOH) 8, the region has seven patients under investigation (PUIs). But only three were confined in hospitals, while the rest were under home quarantine.

DOH 8 Regional Director Minerva Molon said that there was a possibility of local transmission of the disease in the region, considering that it is the gateway to Visayas and Mindanao.

However, she maintained that DOH 8 was doing all its efforts to contain the transmission.

“We have distributed flyers for passengers flying in from Metro Manila on what they should do. When they go to the community, we tasked the barangays to reiterate these instructions and for the local government units (LGUs) to monitor them,” she shared.

She added that 80 percent of the barangay personnel in the region have been trained to respond for any eventuality relative to COVID-19.

DOH has also recorded 23 Patients Under Monitoring (PUMs) wherein nine were from Leyte province, five from Tacloban City, two each from Biliran province, Southern Leyte, and Northern Samar, while Ormoc City, the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar had one each.

As a precautionary measure, the provincial government of Eastern Samar will conduct border checkpoints and implement transportation curfew for all inbound vehicles from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. starting March 14.

Any person coming from Metro Manila will be subjected to mandatory home-quarantine.

Borongan City Mayor Jose Dayan Agda has issued an order, requiring all passengers of public utility vehicles coming in and out of the city to fill-out health checklist forms at their terminals and booking offices.

In Arteche, Eastern Samar, Mayor Roland Boie Evardone has also ordered to impose 14-day self-quarantine and a single drop-off point for passengers coming from Metro Manila.

The local government of Naval, the capital of Biliran province has also implemented screening in their border patrol in order to enforce passenger monitoring.

“We strictly request to present a valid ID upon entry to Naval. Please allocate additional travel time when you will visit naval for this procedure,” Mayor Gerard Espina urged.

Aside from cancellation of big activities such as meetings, workshops, cockfights, and seminars from March 11 to 25, he also signed an order creating local disinfection teams in both municipal and barangay levels.

In Southern Leyte, Governor Damian Mercado has issued an executive order for the immediate cancellation of all the scheduled big events and activities to be held within or outside the city, municipalities, and barangays.

He also signed another executive order declaring the province under a State Of Public Health Emergency and adopting the declaration of the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Cockfight activities, locally known as “Sabong” or “Buwang,” in Maasin City were also temporarily suspended until further notice.

Barangay assemblies are allowed for the purpose of information dissemination of the COVID-19 but with close coordination with the local health office.

As of press time, there is no suspension of classes coming from the local government either private or public in all levels. However, students were directed and required to stay at home, otherwise, their parents’ attention would be called.

Meanwhile, the provincial government of Northern Samar has deployed a team from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) and Provincial Health Office to intensify monitoring in all seaports, since the province is the gateway to Visayas and Mindanao.

Catarman Domestic Airport and all entry and exit points of the province are likewise being monitored.

Tacloban City, Palo, and Tanauan, Leyte have also declared suspension of classes next week as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the disease.

Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez has signed an executive order prescribing the guidelines for a four-day workweek for employees of the city government for the duration of the state of the public health emergency.

The Police Regional Office 8 has deployed a total of 583 personnel to assist the inter-agency task force and quick response teams in all 6 provinces and 2 cities.