MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga – While the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pampanga remain at six, the number of persons under monitoring (PUM) has ballooned to 11, 821.
In the latest COVID-19 update of the province yesterday morning, it also revealed that it recorded 145 persons under investigation (PUI). Of these persons, six have already died, 35 were admitted to hospitals and 33 of them were already discharged, and four were transferred to hospitals chosen by their respective families.
Of the six confirmed COVID-19 cases, three have already died, including provincial health officer Dr. Marcelo Jaochico, whose test result arrived a few hours before he expired last March 24 while confined in a government hospital.
Meanwhile, the Pampanga Provincial Police Office and the provincial government both clarified that the announcement of placing Pampanga under “total lockdown” was just “semantics.”
Pampanga provincial police director Col. Jean Fajardo said in a video streamed press conference over the weekend that nothing will be changed from the guidelines being imposed by the national Inter-Agency Task Force on Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
“It’s just semantics. We just want people to follow the IATF’s guidelines. Quarantine connotes medical emergency, while lockdown connotes martial law or militarization. Para lang po matakot at sumunod ang maraming pasaway sa alituntunin na pinataw ng gobyerno. Kailangan po kasi na manatili sa mga bahay nila ang mga tao para hindi na kumalat pa ang COVID-19,” she said.
Board Member Ananias Canlas echoed Fajardo’s comment. He said Governor Dennis Pineda supports the tactics being implemented by the police in enforcing the IATF’s guidelines in the ECQ and that nothing would change but stricter imposition of the national government’s policies.
Pineda and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan have not passed an ordinance, which is a legal requirement to declare a lockdown.
Pineda continues to appeal to his cabalens to remain home and go out only if they need to buy food and other necessities