NegOr in state of calamity due to Covid-19 threat

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Monday afternoon declared a state of calamity throughout the province of Negros Oriental in the light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.

Governor Roel Degamo issued Executive Order 21, which provides for a general community quarantine, including the resolution of the Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) for a state of calamity, effective midnight of March 17, 2020, until further notice.

During the regular SP session, the provincial task force on Covid-19 ground commander, Dr. Liland Estacion said there are no longer people considered patients under investigation (PUIs) or persons under monitoring (PUMs) because of a shift in some protocols following the quarantine.

People will still be under close monitoring but this time with the help of officials especially at the barangay level.

Also, the province has now sealed its borders, including seaports and airports in Negros Oriental, to prevent community transmission of the Covid-19.

Section 2 of the governor’s executive order states that all borders, ports, and airports of the province of Negros Oriental are now declared closed effective immediately and shall remain in full force and in effect until revoked, due to the number of Covid-19 suspect cases and one positive case in the province.

The Covid-19 positive patient had died several days after isolation and under intensive medical care at a private hospital here. He was reported to be a kidney transplant patient.

The entry of persons in Negros Oriental shall be restricted except for the following: all duly identified residents of Negros Oriental, its cities and municipalities; members of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection and all branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; health workers responding to an emergency; and persons traveling for urgent medical or humanitarian reasons and persons transporting essential goods, supplies, and medicines.

Section 3 provides for the full activation of the inter-agency Covid-19 border monitoring and regulation task force that will be composed of officials of the local government units and barangays of Negros Oriental, members of the PNP, AFP, Philippine Ports Authority, PCG and Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

The task force is also authorized to man the borders of Negros Oriental by setting up checkpoints at Mabinay-Kabankalan, Bayawan-Hinobaan, San Carlos-Vallehermoso, La Castellana-Canlaon, and other roads that may be used as entry points.

It shall be authorized to deny entry to all non-residents of the province of Negros Oriental, with or without symptoms of the disease; allow entry of all returning residents of the province of Negros Oriental, with or without Covid-19 symptoms.

All returning residents shall be required to present a valid government-issued identification card prior to entry and must be checked for signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and undergo the following:

EO 21 also allows entry to essential personnel specifically health workers responding to an emergency, members of the PNP, PCG, BFP and all branches of the AFP, persons traveling for urgent medical humanitarian reasons and persons transporting essential goods, supplies, and medicines, subject to the requirements under Section 3 subparagraph 2.

Under existing laws, 70 percent of the 5 percent calamity fund can be used for pre-disaster activities while the remaining 30 percent will be used during and after the calamity, Vice Governor Edward Mark Macias said.

Under a state of calamity, all local government units including the barangays can already access their respective quick response fund in connection with Covid-19 prevention.

Macias said such fund may be used in the purchase of personal protective equipment such as gloves, suits, facemasks, and alcohol, among others.

He said among the equipment needed are respirators and ventilators, which the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital does not have.

Source: Philippines News Agency