Due to spike of COVID-19 cases and lack of facilities
BY: ROEL T. AMAZONA
TACLOBAN CITY – The provincial governments of Northern Samar and Biliran have sought for the extension on the moratorium on the return of the locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to their respective provinces until the end of this month.
While they are asking for the extension of the moratorium, Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan stressed that they welcome the LSIs to their province.
“While we wait for the decision of the NIATF, we will allow documented locally stranded individuals to enter and return to our province,” Governor Edwin Ongchuan posted in his Facebook account.
Documented LSIs are those who made coordination with their respective local government units prior to their return.
On June 25, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año after visiting the region approved the request of local chief executives in the region to suspend the travel of LSIs for 14 days to help contain further spread of the COVID-19 cases.
The suspension started on June 28 and last until July 9.
The provinces of Northern Samar and Biliran province have submitted a resolution to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (RIATF8) and the Regional Task Force on COVID-19(RTF8) for the extension of the moratorium on the return of the LSIS until July 31.
This request of the two provinces was granted by the two body during a joint resolution issued on July 10 though the NIATF has yet to give its response to the appeal.
The two provinces cited “limited resources and capacity to quarantine these returning residents” as their reason for the extension.
The two provinces also cited the lack of level three hospital in their respective areas and the limited number of hospital beds as well as supplies and materials for COVID-19 and fewer healthcare workers and professionals.
They added that because of these problems, “the local health care system would be easily overwhelmed in the event of a surge of the coronavirus cases.
As of June 12, the number of COVID-19 cases in Biliran had increased to 22 where seven of which had already recovered and one death, while Northern Samar has 22 cases with 11 recovered cases.
Majority of the confirmed case are LSIs including the two reported new cases in Northern Samar, a 14-year old girl who arrived with her grandparents to Lavazares town on June 15 from Paco, Manila and a 60-year old male from San Jose town who arrived with his wife from Caloocan City to the province on June 18. Both new patients are currently isolated at the respective isolation facilities.
All eight towns in the province of Biliran have COVID-19 cases.
These cases are in Biliran (7), Naval (5), Cabucgayan (4), Almeria and Caibiran (3), Kawayan (3) and Maripipi (1).
Six of the 24 municipalities in Northern Samar had recorded cases of COVID-19. These are the towns of Lavezares (10), San Isidro (7), San Jose (2) and one case each in the municipalities of Victoria, San Roque and the capital town of Catarman where the first case in the region was recorded.
Eastern Visayas as of July 12 has a total of 646 confirmed cases with a total of 535 recovered and with three recorded Covid-19 related deaths.