CITY OF MALOLOS – As discussed during the Bulacan Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for COVID-19 meeting yesterday held at the Official Residence in this city, the local government units started swab testing today.
Governor Daniel R. Fernando said that the medical workers will use the 100 test kits allocated by the Department of Health and knowing that it will not suffice, the mayors in the province who attended the said meeting also pledged to shell out in the procurement of more swab test kits.
Following the DOH guidelines, a simultaneous swabbing to priority patients in the 24 LGUs will be conducted starting today.
The specimen collected should be prepared and labelled appropriately and properly and will be submitted to the Provincial Health Office-Public Health who will facilitate immediate packaging and transport of specimen at Lung Center of the Philippines.
Furthermore, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines Bulacan Chapter President Mayor Ambrosio Cruz said that as discussed during the LMP meeting recently, every mayor pledged to help the province by all means to combat the pandemic, and said that if there are equipment that needs to be procured, they can share their budgets, too.
Fernando also shared that the province is just waiting for some equipment to formally open the Bulacan COVID-19 Center that will house the positive COVID-19 patients.
Hence, Vice Gov. Wilhlelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, who is also the health committee chair, suggested that the province should also concentrate on having more isolation or quarantine areas by including hotels and resorts in this humanitarian cause under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or the Republic Act No. 11469.
Fernando said that he has already talked to the owners and is still waiting for their response.
“Tayo po ay nakipag-usap na sa mga may-ari ng hotel at resorts at umaasa na sana’y makaisa natin sila sa pagtulong sa ating mga kalalawigan at makasangga sa paglaban sa pandemyang ito. Gayundin, hinihiling po natin sa ating butihing bise gobernador na tayo ay tulungan sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa kanila sa pamamagitan ng isang resolusyon,” Fernando said.
Also during the meeting, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Rowena Joson-Tiongson reported that they have already distributed 238,296 family food packs in the towns of Pulilan, Paombong, Guiguinto and in the City of Malolos and to all the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries on top of the 4,045 sacks of rice in all cities and municipalities in the province.
Furthermore, P/Lt. Col. Agosto M. Asuncion, representative of Provincial Director Lawrence Cajipe, reported that in their eight operations, they have apprehended 289 individuals who were disobedient to the curfew and 207 from illegal gambling in 41 operations, while in 204 operations for disobedient and resisting arrest, 620 individuals were seized and 13 were apprehended for violating the liquor ban.
Provincial Health Officer for Public Health Dr. Jocelyn Gomez also answered the questions on the guidelines in managing death of COVID related persons.
She stressed that as per the PD 856 or the Sanitation Code of the Philippines, bodies of patients who died of the COVID-19 should be properly sealed for cremation or burial within 12 hours and should there be family members who wish to witness the burial, everyone must wear complete personal protective equipment (PPE) observe social distancing and afterwards the PPEs used must also be buried there.
It is also reported that Bulacan has the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases with 104 as of April 22, 2020 among the provinces bordering the National Capital Region.
Fernando also warned the Bulakenyos to be wary of fake news that are spreading on social media and just believe the news coming from reputable sources.
“Nakakalungkot po dahil sa kabila ng kinakaharap nating krisis ngayon, marami pa din po ang nagpapakalat ng maling balita o fake news. Huwag po tayo basta maniwala sa mga balitang natatanggap natin sa text, sa facebook o youtube lalo na kung ang pinagmulan ay hindi opisyal o kilalang source. Para po sa mga tamang balita, katuwang po natin ang PPAO at PIA sa pagbababa ng impormasyon gayundin po ang ilang mamamahayag sa ating lalawigan,” the governor said.