By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY –Mayor Sara Duterte said local health authorities feared that allowing the return of Dabawenyos, who have been stranded in various parts of the country since the lockdown last March 15, could result in another coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Davao City.
Duterte said, in an interview aired over Davao City Disaster Radio 87.5, that epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists have already turned down the idea of letting the stranded Dabawenyos go back to the city since they could be possible carriers of the highly contagious disease.
She added that the city’s isolation centers could not accommodate an estimated number of 1,200 stranded individuals.
She said isolation centers of the city currently have a combined number of 416 beds, but added they were planning to put up more to reach the target of 1,000 beds in preparation for the influx of stranded Dabawenyos once the lockdown is lifted.
“That’s what the doctors have been telling us. When they enter here, it is expected that there will be a new wave of infection, so we need to prepare. That’s what we are doing every day,” she said.
She said the city government has created a team, tasked to build the database for the stranded individuals and to attend to the needs, which included the assistance provided by the local government here.
She said the team is also validating identifies of the stranded individuals, who are reaching out to the local government directly.
She added the team is also assisting the residents of provinces and cities who are stranded in the city.
She also said the team was coordinating with Davao Oriental and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to bring their stranded residents back to their hometowns.