ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 28 Oct) – The National Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases sent some 4,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs) for the medical frontliners in Jolo, Sulu over the weekend in support of the province’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a press statement, the Army’s 11th Infantry Division – Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) said that the National IATF Chief Implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., handed over 136 boxes containing 4,000 PPEs, which were unloaded from a Philippine Airforce plane at the Jolo airport.
The PPEs were given to Sulu Sanitarium, a hospital run by the Department of Health that currently has 24 active COVID-19 cases, and received by Dr Aminkadra A. Majid, Chief of Hospital, and Dr. Julmafudz Usman, Medical Officer IV, according to 2Lt. Jerrica Angela Manongdo, public information officer of JTFS.
With Galvez in his Jolo visit were Lt. Gen. Corleto S. Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, and Brig. Gen. Manuel V. Sequitin, JTFS assistant commander.
In a telephone interview, Dr. Farah Omar, Sulu provincial health officer, said that the province already has 120 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Oct. 26.
Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, JTFS commander, was quoted in the 11ID press statement as saying that the strict measures imposed all over Sulu, particularly controlling the entry and exit at the Jolo pier, resulted in a “significantly lower number of recorded cases as compared to other provinces in Mindanao.”
Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan issued Executive Order 17-2020 on Oct. 13, which outlined strict health protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Among the measures was declaring a moratorium on inbound and outbound travels, from Oct. 16 to 31, for locally stranded individuals, returning overseas Filipinos and Badjaos, who are so used to moving from one place to another.
Tan’s EO allowed travel only for returning frontliners, which include medical frontliners, military and police personnel and Authorized Persons Outside Residence who have travel orders from their respective heads of agencies.
Jolo Mayor Kherkar S. Tan likewise ordered no movement on Sundays starting Oct. 25. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)