BARMM health workers cry harassment in COVID-19 fight

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 27 April) — Several health workers in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have experienced being harassed while conducting contract tracing of probable and suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, an official said.

Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, BARMM Health Minister, said their frontliners are facing difficulties fighting the spread of COVID-19 due to the hostile receptions that they got from relatives or communities they visited for contract tracing.

“There have been families that got angry and threatened to sue our medical frontliners who visited them to conduct contact tracing interviews. They fear that they will be stigmatized as disease carriers because our health workers paid them a visit,” he said.

Dipatuan appealed to the residents to cooperate and give the correct details to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

He also asked the constituents to believe only the data officially released by the Bangsamoro government, noting there were fake news coming out of social media.

As of Monday, there were 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region.

Two of the new cases came from Lanao del Sur province. They are being treated at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City.

Three of the COVID-19 positive patients in the BARMM have died while five others have recovered.