South Cotabato town under state of calamity due to dengue

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/22 July) – Officials have declared the entire municipality of Tupi in South Cotabato under a state of calamity due to the rising cases of the deadly dengue fever.

Emil Sumagaysay, Tupi Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) chief, said Friday the Sangguniang Bayan or municipal council made the declaration earlier this week to assist the local government’s ongoing interventions against the spread of the viral disease.

He said such move was based on a recommendation issued by the Tupi MDRRM Council headed by Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr.

Citing a report from the Tupi Municipal Health Office (MHO), he said the number of confirmed dengue cases in the area already reached 297 as of July 14.

He said this figure is up by about 48 percent compared to the same period last year.

Sumagaysay said four fatalities due to dengue complications were recorded in three of their 15 barangays since April.

Two of the cases were from Barangay Poblacion and one each in barangays Bunao and Acmonan, he said.

“There are a number of new cases that emerged these past days as reported by our MHO and local hospitals,” he said in an interview over radio station DXKR.

At the Roel I. Senador Memorial Hospital, which is run by the local government, patient admission has so far exceeded its 30-bed capacity due to the rising dengue cases.

Local private hospitals have been forced to decline and recommend patients to seek treatment in hospitals in Koronadal City and neighboring areas due to their limited bed capacities.

Owing to this, Mayor Tamayo ordered the MHO and the MDRRMO to set up tents outside the municipal hospital to accommodate the patients.

The mayor also directed the use of the hospital’s conference room and other nearby buildings of the municipal government for such purpose.

As a result of the calamity declaration, Sumagaysay said the local government may now use its remaining calamity fund of around P1.6 million for various interventions against the disease.

He said they are currently finalizing the required work and financial plan for the utilization of such funding.

“Our massive information and education campaigns are currently ongoing in all our barangays,” he said.

Sumagaysay added that the campaigns are focused on the conduct of regular of “Operation Kulob” or cleanup of possible breeding places of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in local communities. (MindaNews)