By Shirley Matias Pizarro
BALANGA CITY, BATAAN — Everyone in the province is now being considered a person under monitoring (PUM) in view of the unabated rush of people returning to Bataan from Metro Manila since the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This became apparent during the meeting and consultation of the Bataan Outbreak Response Team held at the Bunker, Capitol Compound of this city Tuesday.
According to doctors, the National Capital Region (NCR) is now ground zero for the dreaded COVID-19 in the Philippines, and, as such, all Bataan residents returning from the metropolis are strongly advised to undergo the 14-day quarantine as a matter of precaution.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there was still only one case of COVID-19 positive patient, identified as PH64 M32, in Bataan. His doctors at the St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center reported that the patient was responding well to his medications and treatment. The doctors expressed optimism about his recovery.
Currently, there are 42 persons under investigation (PUIs), 26 of whom have already been discharged from different hospitals in Bataan while the rest are still being monitored.
In preparation for a worst case scenario, the task force also recommended the training of additional medical personnel and first-responders on the proper donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE), and proper swabbing of specimen for testing of the presence of the coronavirus in a patient.
Checkpoints were set up in five exit and entry points in Bataan that were manned by the inter-agency task force members from the Provincial Police Office (PPO), Metro Bataan Development Authority (MBDA), Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).
The checkpoints are located in the Bataan-Pampanga boundary in Balsik, Hermosa; SCTEX-Hermosa; Tipo-Dinalupihan and SBMA-Morong Gate.
Local government units have also been conducting disinfection, surveillance and fever monitoring in their respective areas.
Pilar Mayor Charlie Pizarro has declared a curfew in Pilar from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. while Mariveles Mayor Jocelyn Castaneda declared a state of calamity in the municipality in view of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.