Davao Region seals borders vs virus

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte yesterday said Davao Region is closing its borders for 14 days starting today.     

Mayor Duterte said there is a need to abide by the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution 11, prohibiting unnecessary travel, and to enforce more stringent measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The community quarantine for Davao Region, particularly Davao City, will begin 12 midnight of March 19, and will end after 14 days.

The presidential daughter said the move will help the national government address COVID-19.

“Starting midnight tonight, sarado po ang Davao Region, kami lang po rito sa loob ang puwedeng gumalaw,” Duterte  said.

“Ang gusto kasi ng mga doctor sa Davao City, isara ang Davao City. Mahirap gawin iyan para sa akin kasi iyong mga kapitbahay namin, Davao City ang center nila. The banks, hospitals, ang trabaho, nasa Davao City.  Kaya nakiusap ako sa mga doctor na huwag i-lockdown ang Davao City,” she added.

The lockdown of the region can be lifted earlier on the recommendation of infectious disease specialists.

“Nakiusap ako na baka puwede half lang nung incubation period na seven days ang lockdown ng Davao Region. Basta kaming lahat ng mayors ng Davao Region, pare-pareho ang ginagawa, dapat isa lang ang ginagawa sa screening, iyong response ng LGUs, hospitals and PUI centers namin,”she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte had put the entire country under state of calamity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, Davao Region has one confirmed COVID-19 case.

FIRST COVID-19 CASE IN STABLE CONDITION

Health officials said Patient 130 (PH130), the first confirmed 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Davao Region who is currently admitted at the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City, is improving and in a stable condition.

Dr. Bryan Dalid, DRMC chief of hospital, said the 21-year-old patient from the Davao de Oro town of Pantukanto, has been improving since the time she was admitted.

PH130 flew from the United Kingdom, with layover via Doha, Qatar, to Manila then to Davao on February 29, the Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-11) said Monday.

She first sought consultation at a local health facility due to cough and was immediately isolated on March 9. She was eventually transferred and admitted for isolation and testing at DRMC the next day.

“She was brought to our hospital and was confined at the Emerging Re-emerging Infectious Disease (ERID) ward. Her cough, cold and fever have been treated and she has improved well,” Dalid said.

To ensure PH130's full recovery, Dalid said they have already collected the second nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab to see if she is already negative of the viral disease.

“One of the parameters for us to discharge the patient is to have two negative results of nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab tests,” he explained.

CONTACT TRACING

Dr. Cleofe Tabada, medical officer of DOH 11-Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), said they have already conducted "contact tracing" of persons who interacted with PH130 upon her arrival and up to her admission. “We started with her family and friends and the areas where she went before her admission,” she said.

She added that the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) has contacted the management of PAL for the list of passengers of Manila-Davao Flight PR2815 taken by PH130 at 12:30 p.m. on February 29.

“There are two passengers who contacted us and they did not manifest any symptoms,” Tabada said.

She urged other passengers of the flight to come out and report to the nearest health centers if they manifested the symptoms.

“No need to panic. Call us so that you will know what to do. If you don’t want to come out, we won’t be able to help you,” Tabada said.

She also added that passengers of PR2815 can contact the following numbers for assistance: 0908-171-0468 for Smart and 0956-873-5621 for Globe.

(PNA)