Soldiers under Eastern Mindanao Command remain free from COVID-19 infection.
“I’m happy to report that as of now we have zero reports,” Lt. Gen Jose Faustino Jr., the EastMinCom chief, told TIMES in a phone interview on Saturday. “There were suspected cases but they turned out negative.”
“And that is one of our priorities in EastMinCom, soldiers should be healthy and free from COVID because with the many multi-tasking (responsibilities) being done if they get sick, our effectiveness will be worthless,” he added.
He also said they are helping the healthcare system by making sure that all personnel are healthy and would not have to be admitted to a hospital.
“I want to maintain that if in case the situation will deteriorate we can prepare, and we cannot do that if our soldiers will get sick, ” he further said.
The EastMinCom chief said they made sure that soldiers are fully equipped while performing their duties, especially those who are deployed at checkpoints. “As you can see in our checkpoints and in giving relief goods in the hinterlands, they are properly protected with PPEs,” Faustino said.
The Eastern Mindanao Command, through the Joint Task Force Haribon and Joint Task Force Agila, is presently coordinating with the local government units and the Department of Health. The military is called on to implement the lockdown measures, as well as provide security to agencies and groups distributing relief goods and cash subsidies.
The military checkpoints have been expanded to include health screening protocols. Those who fail the health screening will be sent to the hospital for swabbing.
Also, the command has prepared quarantine facilities for soldiers under the supervision of the DOH and the local government units. These facilities can accommodate suspected cases so they do not have to burden the COVID-referral hostitals.