Agusan Sur execs alarmed over local spread of COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews /28 September) — Local officials in Agusan del Sur have sounded the alarm bells after the Department of Health Center for Health Development – Caraga (DOH CHD-Caraga) confirmed the local transmissions of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in this municipality and five other localities across the region.

The DOH CHD-Caraga on Saturday declared that of the day’s 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region, 16 new local transmission cases were discovered in the towns of Nasipit, Remedios T. Romualdez and Buenavista in Agusan del Norte and San Francisco in Agusan del Sur and in Cabadbaran City, the capital of Agusan del Norte, and Surigao City, the capital of Surigao del Norte.

At least 560 local transmissions were recorded by DOH CHD-Caraga or 46 percent out of the 1,125 total COVID-19 cases in the region, with Butuan City in Agusan del Norte and Bislig City in Surigao del Sur, both also with local transmissions of the virus, recording most of these cases that were found during the onset of locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipinos.

Local officials here have imposed anew more stringent measures for residents to strictly follow the health protocols to prevent the spread of the dreaded virus, which has become a global pandemic early this year after emerging in China.

San Francisco Mayor Solomon Rufila placed at least three barangays at the town center under a granular lockdown after health officials found that a pair of senior citizens had contracted the disease through local transmission from three health workers of a private hospital.

The couple has been confined at the COVID-19 treatment center at the D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital. Contact tracing has been launched in Barangays 3, 4 and 5.

The daughter of the two patients, who are both symptomatic, has appealed through social media not to discriminate her parents who are struggling for their lives at their hospital beds.

Local officials, through the Municipal Inter Agency Task Force for Coronavirus Pandemic 2019, passed a resolution on Saturday asking the Provincial Inter-Agency  Anti-COVID Task Force to revert the municipality’s status from Modified General Community Quarantine to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

A public advisory by the local government posted on social media on Monday notified residents that there will be no transaction at the town hall as health workers will disinfect the building.

Alarmed by the turn of events in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr. has ordered the cancellation of meetings, trainings and social gatherings and enjoined local and national government offices and non-government organizations to temporarily suspend face-to-face meetings in the workplace. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)