By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – Following the Department of Health Region 8 (DOH-8) confirmation of local transmission, and two cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Tarangnan, Samar, Mayor Arnel Tan has called for understanding and fair treatment, especially from neighboring towns.
“We have made our efforts in containing the virus even before the official announcement of the first confirmed case from our locality but the damage has already been done. All we need is your moral support and acceptance as a fellow Samarnon,” he appealed.
The mayor has issued an executive order for the total lockdown of two sitios and restrictive quarantine in the municipality Tuesday, April 7.
He said Sitio Duyanan of Brgy. Imelda and Sitio Upper Bahay of Brgy. Bahay would be under lockdown until further notice, affecting at least 50 households, while the rest of the municipality with no confirmed COVID-19 cases would be under restrictive community quarantine.
The order provides that no residents from these sitios would be allowed to go out even for livelihood purposes, except for medical and security personnel.
Tan said water and food will be delivered to every house by the municipal fire officials and municipal disaster risk reduction management office. Each family would be provided with a sack of rice and grocery items to ensure that they would stay in their homes.
“Augmentation force from the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police (PNP) will be dispatched within our municipality in order to ensure the compliance of every citizen,” the mayor said.
With confirmed cases of local transmission, DOH 8 Regional Director Minerva Molon warned that all persons with travel history to said areas in the last 14 days would automatically be considered as persons under monitoring (PUMs).
The mayor disclosed that some persons who had close contact with the two new female COVID-19 patients have been showing mild symptoms.
“The spread within the household cannot be avoided because in the case of one who tested positive, they are not rich and there are many people who live in their house so some of them have manifested mild symptoms and some are getting better,” Tan explained.
A team from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit is set to conduct swab testing on those who may have had close contact with the two patients.
He also intends to use the newly-disinfected Tarangnan District Hospital, where the two COVID-patients work, as an isolation facility to alleviate the fear of his constituents.
Meanwhile, despite the restrictive quarantine, the mayor said fishing activities would still be allowed only within the municipal waters of Tarangnan.