BUTUAN CITY – The inter-agency task force (IATF) on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response has approved the request of local authorities in Caraga region to defer the return of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) to the region.
The request of local authorities came about following the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region. And as such, they are now preparing additional isolation areas in their respective localities for the returning LSIs and ROFs.
The rise in cases spurred the subsequent increased demand for a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing laboratory in the region, which is targeted to open on the second week of the month, as indicated in the same letter from the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga.
To date, Caraga region has a total of 176 cumulative confirmed positive COVID-19 cases.
With the spike of COVID-19 cases in Caraga region, the DOH reiterated on Tuesday its previous announcement to take extra- precautionary measures and strictly abide all the health protocols issued by the agency and the regional inter-agency task force.
With the continuous rise of cases in various parts in the five provinces and six cities in Caraga region, 33 barangays in this region’s premier and capital city of Butuan remained under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
The Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) Caraga has emphasized the need to continue implementing the degree of community quarantine in order to “target 100 percent contact tracing and placement of all necessary quarantine and isolation measures to prevent further the spread of the disease in the region” in its letter addressed to the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) dated June 29.
The Caraga Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) then concurred the request during its Ninth Teleconference Meeting on July 3.
In addition, the DOH Caraga has confirmed the region’s first locally transmitted cases in this region’s city of Butuan.