GERONA, Tarlac – Residents of this town have sought government help after their neighbor was found positive for the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) for the second time.
The victim who is under home quarantine in Bgy. Pinasling here even went to the market to buy his food, raising fears some were contracted from him.
The victim was first confined at the Tarlac Provincial Hospital (TPH). After five days, he was described as “RECOVERED” and was sent home to undergo home quarantine by the TarlacProvincial Hospital (TPH) last March 22 without the result of his first COVID19 laboratory test.
On March 26, Governor Susan Yap-Sulit announced that Jonel, not his real name, along with a 75-year old female from Paniqui town, was the province’s first COVID19 ‘positive’ case.
On the same, day the Department of Health (DOH) personnel and local health workers arrived at his house but, instead of bringing him to an isolation area, or to a hospital, they only got another swab sample from him for a second lab test.
Jonel is now on his 14-day home-quarantine together with his wife, 3 children and his senior citizen parents and his neighbors have been complaining for fear of being infected.
“Sobra-sobrang takot na namin. Hindi biro ang may kapitbahay ka na may sakit na nakakahawa na walang gamot. Bakit hindi pa siya kunin ng gobyerno? Mukhang hahayaan na lang siyang mamatay mag-isa pati pamilya niya, paano naman kaming mga kapitbahay niya? Ayaw sana naming lumabas, pero wala naman dumarating na tulong (food packs)”, May Ann Dizon, a neighbor rearing a newborn baby earlier said.
“ This is gross negligence. This is risking many peoples’ lives. Sino bang mananagot kung may mahahawa sa mga kapit bahayniya ?”, said newsman Nelson Bolos.
Lovely Karenth Mariano Isip who lives a few houses from Jonel’s said, “Kawawa kaming mga kapitbahay nya, may mga anak din kmi, may mga pamilya din kami, napaka iresponsable naman nila”.
Another neighbor who requested not to be named disclosed that Jonel even went to the market and bought some food by himself when he arrived from the Provincial Hospital on March 22raising the possibility that he could have spread the virus at the public market.
Barangay officials, garbage collectors and water delivery personnel, who regularly service Jonel’s households and his family, wear only ordinary face masks and without protection suits.
The second lab test, which again found Jonel to be positive of COVID19, was apparently released last Wednesday by the Department of Health but the report was only admitted this morning by a barangay official.
As of this writing, Jonel is still the only COVID19 positive of this town while the province already has 19 confirmed cases.
An elderly neighbor, Teresita Ocampo, said, “nasa 2 linggo na siya dito, lahat kaming mga kapitbahay niya ay takot na takot na mahawaan. Marami sa amin ay mga senior citizens at hindi kami makatulog sa kaka-isip sa aming situwasyon. Ngayong 2 beses na siyang nagpositive, bakit hindi pa siya dalhin sa hospital o isolation center? Dapat i-lockdown ang daang papasok sa bahay niya at bantayan ng 24 oras.”
Jonel works as a driver of a van and fetches arriving Balikbayans at the NAIA. Since February, he has fetched and driven around several OFWs who came from Italy, Spain and US, among others.