Moreno says it should be explained to Badjao community that quarantine is for their protection

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 29 August) —  Placing a small Badjao community under quarantine has proven to be a challenge to frontline medical workers and the local government here but Mayor Oscar Moreno said it should be explained to the community that “quarantine is for their own protection.”

Moreno said Badjaos are highly mobile and speak their own language, as he acknowledged the language barrier between them and barangay health workers.

“The Badjaos love their freedom and being quarantined might not suit their lifestyle,” he said.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Illustration courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Cagayan de Oro City Health Office placed under quarantine for 14 days a small community of 30 families of  Badjaos or 146 individuals residing in a sitio in Barangay Puntod here after a 21-year old woman from Iligan City who is staying temporarily with them  tested positive for COVID-19.

She was rushed to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center on August 25 after she complained of vomiting and severe dehydration.

After undergoing a RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction) test, City Epidemiologist Dr. Joselito Retuya said the Badjao woman was found positive of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Retuya said that during their contact-tracing, they found out that the Badjao woman arrived from Iligan City during the weekend and was brought to the hospital by a tricycle driver.

Moreno said the woman was part of a bigger Badjao group that traditionally comes to Cagayan de Oro every fiesta on August 28. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)