Caraga placed under “border lockdown”

A scene in downtown Butuan City, regional center of Caraga. MindaNews file photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 2 April) – Caraga Region has been placed under a “border lockdown” starting Thursday even as the area has remained free of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

In an interview on ABS-CBN Cagayan de Oro on Thursday afternoon, Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale Corvera said they have closed their land, sea and air boundaries for an indefinite period.

“It’s indefinite because we don’t know what would happen in the next few days and when this problem would end,” he said in the vernacular.

But he said the entry of food supplies and other essential goods would still be allowed.

People may still continue to report to work and buy food and medicines, he added.

Corvera, also the chair of the Regional Development Council, said the Regional Task Force for Covid-19 agreed on the border lockdown in its virtual meeting on Wednesday.

The task force passed Resolution No. 7 Series of 2020 or the “One Caraga Shield,” which aims to harmonize the guidelines for the regional community quarantine in response to the virus threat.

Corvera said they will impose an enhanced community quarantine in case the region records its first confirmed Covid-19 case.

The regional lockdown overruled the declaration Wednesday by Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. placing his province under enhanced community quarantine.

It also reverted Agusan del Sur to the status of a community quarantine and lifted the ban on the movement of residents within the province.

Still Covid-19-free

As of Thursday, Caraga still had no confirmed Covid-19 case.

The person under investigation (PUI) who died at the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City on March 26 tested negative of the virus, according to Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, regional director of the Department of Health.

Llacuna said confirmatory laboratory result released by the Southern Medical Center in Davao City showed that the 24-year old PUI died from chronic kidney disease although he had a travel history outside the region.

“Again, we extend our sympathy to the bereaved family for their loss. However, we are also relieved of the test result,” he said.

As of April 1, the region had two PUIs admitted in a government hospital in the region. They are still waiting for their test results.

The Caraga Regional Hospital has recorded 11 PUIs of which nine, including the one who died, tested negative of the virus.

There are 7,713 persons under monitoring in the region, of whom 7,023 were cleared and have completed their 14-day isolation. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews, with reports from Chris V. Panganiban)