DAVAO DEL NORTE, July 13 (PIA) – The Provincial Government of Davao del Norte remains open to accomodating Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) in the midst of rising cases of COVID-19 positive linked to their arrivals.
Referring to ROFs and LSIs as brothers and sisters, Provincial Governor Edwin I. Jubahib discussed the protocol of attending to arrivals of ROFs and LSIs fetched at the airport through the Davao del Norte COVID-19 Task Force and then transported through bus to the isolation facilities of the local government units (LGUs) in Davao del Norte.
They then undergo swab sampling for RT PCR COVID-19 testing after 10 days in isolation before they can go home when tested negative of the pandemic.
”Samtang naa sa isolation atong i-provide ang ilang mga pagkaon. (While they are on isolation, we are providing them their meals.),” Jubahib said emphasizing that local government assistance goes beyond transportation.
Provincial COVID-19 Incident Command System commander Dr. Alfredo Lacerona during the same One Davao Presser added that the COVID-19 Task Force profiles the ROFs and the LSIs upon their arrival before they are taken to isolation facilities.
Tagging them with QR (quick response) code is the latest add-on initiative of the provincial government of Davao del Norte to monitor ROFs and LSIs.
”Sa karon (Right now), we have our electronic system na ginatawag (we call as ) Davao del Norte COVID-19 Contact Tracing System, thru QR code,” he said in explaining that ROFs and LSIs and all entrants to the province doing business and government transactions are now being tagged with QR codes to easily trace contacts of a COVID-19 positive case.
On top of the electronic QR coding that Davao del Norte has trail-blazed in COVID-19 contact-tracing, it also has set up a number of isolation facilities which Dr. Lacerona estimated at 700 rooms across all LGUs in the province.
Lacerona said each of the provincial district hospitals located in the municipality of Carmen and Kapalong and that in the Island Garden City of Samal also had their own isolation rooms for COVID-19 suspects and probable cases of such disease.
In a separate instance, the provincial government of Davao del Norte also attended to the home-coming of Hatid Tulong Program beneficiaries on board some buses from Manila.
When the first batch of 88 Davao del Norte beneficiaries of Hatid Tulong Program arrived wee hour in the morning on July 7 in Tagum City, the COVID-19 Incident Management Team of Davao del Norte already had coordinated with respective LGUs of their arrival and eventual fetching.
The returning LSIs were served with food packs, hot drinks and water before they were shuttled to LGU isolation facilities.
Meanwhile, Lacerona admitted that Davao del Norte had logged increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases but it had yet to monitor local transmission.
Sa trend sa karon, ang nagadala, ang mga nahimong positibo kadtong mga nanguli nga OFWs ug mga LSIs. Siguro hangtod nga nagadawat pa ta sa ilaha magataas, magasaka pag gihapon ang atong mga kaso. So far, wala pa tay local transmission; ang positive nagagikan sa laing dapit labi na didto sa high risk areas. (Our trend right now is that the arriving OFWs and LSIs are bringing, have become positive. Possibly, as long as we are receiving them, our cases would continue to increase. So far, we have no local transmission yet. The positive are those coming from high risk areas),” he said during his guesting at One Davao Presser.
Basing on July 07 COVID-19 Update, Lacerona revealed that 44 LSIs and ROFs were tested positive out of 59 confirmed COVID-19 confirmed positive registered on that day.
Based on daily posted provincial COVID-19 update, it was on May 29 that that PHO Davao del Norte last logged a local COVID-19 case involving a 23-year old female from Island Garden City of Samal, that was admitted at Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City. The COVID-19 registry recorded at that time was only 15 positive cases.
On June 3, PHO Davao del Norte started logging COVID-19 positive cases attributed to returning residents who arrived via sweeper flights and then later, via commercial flights.
From then on, the registry of COVID-19 positive cases of the province has spiked with the arrivals of ROFs and LSIs contributing to the increase. As of July 12 at 3:00 p.m., Davao del Norte registered 71 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases. (Jeanevive Duron Abangan, PIA XI )