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LGUs absorb blows from returning LSIs and OFWs

THE RETURN of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and overseas contract workers contributed to the increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region. 

According to DOH XI director, Dr. Annabele Yumang,  a total of 9,598 OFWs and LSIs have already arrived in the region and 205 of them were flagged by the RT-PCR test.

The number of new cases in Davao Region has been double digits in recent days, since the beginning of the modified general community quarantine. 

Mayor Sara Duterte said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases has given her advance warning that Davao City may revert back to the general community quarantine due to the rise in cases. 

But the health department said the rise in cases could also be attributed to more tests. For now, there are three in the region–the Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao Regional Medical Center, and the Davao One World Diagnostics, a private facility.  

Based on the DOH XI record,  there are 504 local cases in Davao City,  in addition to 33 LSIs and  25 OFWs. 

  • In Davao de Oro, nine are local cases, 32 LSIs and 14 OFWs for a total of 55.
  • In Davao del Norte, 19 are local cases,  27 LSIs and 29 OFWs for a total of 75.
  • In Davao del Sur, 19 are local cases, six LSIs and four OFWs for a total of 29
  • In Davao Oriental, 13 are local cases, 23 LSIs and 12 OFWs for a total of 48. 
  • In Davao Occidental, all four cases are local. 

Yumang said that with the number of COVID-19 cases observed to rise, health facilities are expected to be fully utilized.  All provinces, cities, and municipalities have set aside temporary treatment monitoring facilities.

These facilities provide close monitoring of the confirmed person’s status and symptoms, as well as referrals, should the need arise. 

Presently, only about a quarter of the 5,963-bed capacities of the region is occupied. 

Also, the local government units are strengthening their contact tracing at the barangay level. 

Even if they only recorded one confirmed case, Yumang said they have already asked the public to be cautious.

“Now that we already have cases in all our provinces, our local government units are intensifying their precautionary measures to halt COVID-19 to ensure that minimum health standards are observed, ” she explained. 

“We continue to appeal to the public to be responsible in protecting themselves and others against COVID-19,” she said. 

The DOH XI has been advocating the wearing of masks when out in public, washing and sanitizing of hands using soap and water or alcohol, and the observance of physical distancing.

Meanwhile, she said that 117 health workers who are directly exposed to patients have also tested positive for the virus. “They have been exposed to multiple confirmed COVID-19 patients of which we are unable to trace who among the confirmed cases actually transmitted it to them.”

As of 5 p.m. on July 13, the Davao Center for Health Development reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 in the region, bringing the total number of active cases to 281. Of these new cases, 13 are from Davao de Oro, three from Davao del Norte, and one from Davao City. 

Last July 10, Patient DR 698 was added to the tally for Davao City. However, after thorough verification, it was established that the patient was from Davao Oriental. No death was recorded on Monday. One recovery from Davao del Sur was also reported. 

A total of 281 persons were tested on the said day, of which 17 tested positive for COVID-19.

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