KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 17 Mar) – Health experts and authorities here have implemented since Monday a community quarantine a few days after President Duterte declared a “state of national health emergency” due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Lawyer Jose Paolo Evangelista, the city information officer, said that since March 16 they have implemented mandatory disinfection on all tricycles plying the city and barangay roads.
There are at least four areas along the city streets where tricycles are ordered to stop for disinfection, he said.
Daily disinfection is being administered at the Overland Terminal, public market, and other public places in the city, Evangelista added.
He explained that they have to strictly implement the community quarantine to ensure public safety and to prevent spread of the virus.
Data from the City Health Office (CHO) showed that there are at least 60 persons under the regular monitoring of health personnel. These persons, according to reports, have travel history from Metro Manila and from countries where there are confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Evangelista admitted that among the PUMs is his father, Mayor Joseph Evangelista, who attended the convention of the Mayors’ League of the Philippines held recently in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eva Rabaya, of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), clarified that Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco has just completed her mandatory self-quarantine after her recent travels from the National Capital Region.
On Monday, the governor issued Executive Order 2020-016 where she placed the whole province under “modified community quarantine.”
Catamco has called on her constituents to be extra cautious in dealing with friends, relatives, and those they meet every day to impose social distancing or at least a meter apart from each other.
She urged residents to report to their hotline, 0910-0101101, those travelers from Metro Manila and from other countries with COVID-19 cases that arrived in the province but failed to report to health authorities for monitoring.
City hall and the provincial capitol have adopted the four-day workweek schedule as part of the pre-emptive measures to fight COVID-19.
This, according to Evangelista, is based on a memorandum circular issued by the Civil Service Commission.
This work schedule, he explained, will continue for one month.
He, however, clarified that those who will transact business with any of the offices at city hall must undergo thermal scanning at the entrance, and those with body temperature of 37.5 degree Celsius and above are denied entry.
This work schedule, though, will not cover offices that are indispensable in maintaining public health and safety, such as the City Health Office, Kidapawan City Hospital, Kidapawan Call 911, Traffic Management Unit, City Environment and Natural Resources Office, Economic Enterprises Marketing Office, and those in charge of the terminal operations. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)