Sara orders surveillance of persons with flu-like symptoms in barangays, offices

DAVAO CITY  (MindaNews / 27 March) –— Mayor Sara Duterte ordered an intensified surveillance of persons exhibiting flu-like symptoms such as fever and cough in barangays, offices and establishments, as part of the recalibrated approach of the local government to prevent and control the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections.

In her Executive Order 18, released on Friday, Duterte said children and adults with “a measured fever of more than or equal to 38 degrees Celsius and cough with onset within last 10 days” must undergo a mandatory reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test at swab centers in their respective district health centers or at the Sta. Ana Health Center.

Mayor Sara Duterte. Photo from the City Government of Davao Facebook page
Mayor Sara Duterte. Photo from the City Government of Davao Facebook page

Close contacts of persons suffering from flu-like illness will also be closely monitored and swabbed if any of the symptoms develop, she said.

Persons showing flu symptoms will be subjected to mandatory home quarantine while waiting for their RT-PCR test results, she said.

Those who will test negative for COVID-19 will be released from home quarantine once they recover from flu, except when they need to work or do business, according to her.

She also directed contact tracers, Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) and Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) to refer for swabbing residents manifesting flu symptoms in the community.

Duterte also ordered the health authorities to make regular schedule of surveillance swabbing in business and commercial establishments; public places, including, among others, wet markets, supermarkets, and stores; government offices; private offices and agencies; closed facilities such as Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bahay Pag-asa, Home for the Aged, and orphanage; and other barangays and areas deemed high risk by the City Health Office.

As of March 26, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region reported 61 new cases, bringing the total cases to 21,310, with 836 active, 19,563 recoveries, and 911 deaths in the region.

Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 13,630 cases, with 318 active, 12,648 recoveries, and 664 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,334 cases, Davao del Norte with 3,374, Davao del Sur with 1,429, Davao Occidental with 220, and Davao Oriental with 1,313. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)