The provincial government announced Saturday the suspension of classes in all levels, in both public and private schools, and the temporary stoppage of mass gatherings by all sectors, including religious activities in this province, after a patient, the first in the province, was found positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid–19) Friday.
Governor Albert Garcia said the suspension of classes and the stoppage of mass gatherings were effective Saturday and will last indefinitely.
Checkpoints manned by police and medics of the Metro Bataan Development Authority and the Provincial Health Office were also set up in boundaries of the province to monitor returning residents and guests.
“Maging kalmado tayo at huwag mag-panic, at the same time practice cooperation at sundin instructions ng ating pamahalaan ng sa ganoon malampasan natin malaking health challenge na ito (Be calm and do not panic, at the same time, cooperate and follow instructions of our government so that we surpass this big health challenge),” Garcia said in a press conference on Saturday.
He said when it was confirmed that patient PH64 (male, 32 years old) had Covid-19, they started contact tracing and had the mother and other relatives the victim came in contact with, quarantined.
He said that a roommate in Manila of PH64 was also confined at a hospital and awaiting result of laboratory test.
Garcia said the victim, a professor in one of the schools in Manila and a resident of a Bataan town, possibly got the virus when he went to Greenhills in San Juan, Metro Manila.
He said the professor has no history of foreign travel.
When the victim fell ill, he went home to Bataan on board a passenger bus and was later confined at the Bataan St. Joseph Hospital in Balanga City where he was confined and tested for Covid-19.
On Friday, laboratory test results showed that the victim was positive of the virus.
“Nasa ospital pa rin siya at nagpapagaling. Latest information natin, gumaganda na ang kanyang situasyon (He is still in the hospital and recuperating. Our latest information is that his condition is improving),” Garcia said.
Garcia spelled out what they did after the Department of Health (DOH) officially made known the patient's Covid-19 infection.
“Unang ginawa natin ay sinuspinde natin ang klase, all levels, indefinitely nang sa ganoon hindi magkaroon ng exposure ang mga kabataan at mahawa. So cancelled na klase (First, we suspended classes in all levels indefinitely so that the youth would have no exposure and get infected),” he said.
He said he also talked with leaders of religious organizations and requested for the temporary stoppage of holding mass gatherings.
“We strongly encouraged them to comply na huwag na munang magdaos ng mga religious activities (not to conduct religious activities),” Garcia said.
He said he received positive response from the religious sector.
He said they observed the mass exodus of passengers in Metro Manila on their way home to Bataan Friday night so they decided to place checkpoints in the province’s boundaries effective 10 p.m. Friday.
Garcia also said all incoming passengers to the province were being monitored of their temperature through thermal scanners at the checkpoints like in Barangay Balsik, Hermosa which is the boundary between Pampanga and Bataan.
“Hiling namin pang-unawa, mag-cooperate ang lahat para sa ating kaligtasan (we appeal for understanding and to cooperate all for our safety),” the governor said.
Passengers found nothing wrong with the checkpoint and said it was alright with them as a precaution against Covid – 19.
Garcia appealed to his constituents for calmness and cooperation on measures they instituted.
Meanwhile, spraying of disinfectants on churches and roads were common sights on Sunday in Samal town and this city.
A church worker said they were using a mixture of bleach and water as disinfectant in and out of the St. Joseph Cathedral here.
In Barangay Santa Lucia, Samal, village officials led the spraying of disinfectants on streets and surrounding areas.
Meanwhile, most supermarkets and malls here were teeming with customers.
“Namimili kami pang-stock sa bahay kasama na rin ang preparation para sa Covid-19 (we are buying for stocks in our home, and as preparation for Covid-19),” said Ruby Dalte, a local resident, while pushing her grocery cart filled with goods.
Reports showed, however, that alcohol and face masks were not available in most of the 11 towns and one city of Bataan.
Source: Philippines News Agency