10 hospitals in Bohol now ready for mass tests

Published April 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Minerva Newman

TAGBILARAN CITY — Bohol governor Arthur Yap has declared an aggressive response against the debilitating impact of coronavirus COVID-19 by raising the capacity and efficiency of the provincial healthcare system.

Yap said 10 province-run hospitals are now ready for mass testing preferably of individuals having influenza-like illness (ILI) with co-morbid conditions.

Yap said that Bohol continues to adhere to aggressive prevention programs parallel with strict enforcement of protocols, policies and appropriate guidance from the medical advisers and other related competent authorities on how to beat COVID-19.

In a meeting/press briefing with the Medical Technical Team of the COVID-19 Technical Working Group and the mayors, Bohol local officials carefully came up with coordinated guidelines for “Oplan Exodus” for the safe return of the stranded Boholanos offshore after enough and reliable capacity of quarantine centers across the province shall have been ensured.

Yap clarified that even if preparations have already warranted their return, sea travel will still be restricted unless the “no-sail” policy of the national government thru the Philippine Coast Guard is lifted.

The governor announced to the members of the COVID-19 TWG that a total of P982,000 via commercial cash transfer outlets have been given to 491 stranded offshore Boholanos from various places in the country who had processed their claims and were approved with the financial assistance of P2,000 each.

“Stranded students and displaced workers are priorities for the emergency assistance,” Yap said.

According to Offshore Boholanos Coordinating Team (OBCT) created by the governor, aid requests as of April 13 have already reached 11,868 and these requests are still for verification and validation to determine those who will qualify.

The Province assigned 52 validators to help process the claims for financial assistance of stranded offshore Boholanos and to speed up the validation and processing of their claims/requests, the OBCT set a cut-off date for the submission, registration and sending of requests to the province.

The last day or deadline of accepting requests was on April 15 at 5:00 p.m. OBCT added that for those who have already filed or sent their request via online form or through messenger, they DO NOT need to resend to avoid duplication or multiple requests that might delay the processing of their assistance.

Mass tests in 10 hospitals

According to Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez, spokesperson of the COVID-19 TWG, the 10 province-run hospitals here are now ready for mass testing and he confirmed the delivery of the last batches of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to Jagna and Candijay hospitals.

Lopez said that PPEs were already delivered to the eight other hospitals in Maribojoc, Loon, Clarin, Inabanga, Talibon, President Garcia which is an island-town, Carmen and Catigbian. The PPEs will be used by the medical technicians in the community mass testing in towns.

Yap said that even if Bohol is still COVID-19 free this should not be a reason to be complacent. He considered the response to the public health condition in Cuaming island off Inabanga which has been placed under enhanced community quarantine following cases of mild acute respiratory infection (MARI) as crucial and must be dealt with the soonest.

Lopez said that swab samples from at least 15 individuals already tested negative and the Island entry and exit are prohibited, except for the frontline health workers and border security units, among other vital service providers.

According to Lopez, initial community testing for 18 individuals had been done and all tested negative.

“Mass testing can for now at least help validate that the province stays free from the highly-infectious disease. The number of tested individuals can represent a degree of the prevailing condition of the population of the province amidst the COVID-19 scare,” Bohol first district representative Edgar Chatto said.#