Saturday, 17 April 2021
Friday, 07 February 2020 15:24

4 Chinese PUM in Sarangani isolated, well-accommodated

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 7, 2020) – Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon on Friday (February 7) disclosed that the four Chinese nationals being held as “persons under monitoring” (PUM) in Sarangani for the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCov) are “well-taken cared of.”

They were admitted on Thursday (February 6) to the Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DDATRC) in barangay Kawas to complete their 14-day quarantine period until February 13.

Solon said they need to abide by the protocol of the Department of Health on the 100-meter from the room radius where they will be allowed to roam around while under quarantine but pointed out all essentials are provided to them.

DDATRC has no inpatient clients at the moment.

“We prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for them. We bought bed sheets for them, pillow cases. May aircon ‘yung room nila. We put television for them,” Solon said.

“What is important is that they are in a secluded area and they cannot run risk of infecting others,” the governor said. But he clarified “as of this morning (February 7) they are asymptomatic. That is seven days in the country without symptoms but to be sure we have to wait for six more days.”

“Six days is a short period of time,” according to Solon, “ang hinihingi lang talaga natin is for them to be patient. And this is not anyone’s fault but we have to take precautions so that the people in Sarangani, in the region, and in the country are safe.”

The foreigners were turned over to the Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of the Department of Health in General Santos City after Dr. Vivien Yap, town mayor, alerted Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani’s Provincial Health Officer, that four Chinese nationals, to include a minor, were spotted in a beach resort in Glan on February 2.

Glan is known for its white sand beaches that has been frequented by domestic and foreign tourists especially during Sarbay, touted as the biggest beach festival in the country, every summer.

Solon said the actions of Mayor Yap “is just prudent. She had alerted all the resorts that if there are people coming from nCov-affected countries or areas, i-decline muna nila. Tama naman.”

Mayor Yap released Executive Order 06 series of 2020 on February 4 “Directing all Resort Owners to Refrain from Accepting Tourist Guests in the Resort Particularly Chinese Nationals as Precaution to the Spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease.”

Solon emphasized the importance of activating the “intelligence” network which he linked to the quick response of Mayor Yap and local health authorities upon confirming reports on the presence of the Chinese in the area. He said “wala pang 24 hours na-interview na natin sila at na-cordoned. The first day, reverse isolation sila ibig sabihin hindi sila makalabas kung walang mask.”

Alejandro explained the government needs to isolate them especially with the final confirmation of the protocol from the Department of Health “that these Chinese will not be allowed to go outside the Philippines within the quarantine period.”

Alejandro said they already alerted the Bureau of Quarantine and Bureau of Immigration.

The Bureau of Immigration is coordinating with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for the arrangement of the travel documents of these Chinese especially that the two of them would supposedly have travelled back to Manila on February 6.

After a 14-day quarantine period, Alejandro said the four will be issued with a medical clearance “that the quarantine is over and that they didn’t develop signs and symptoms during the incubation period of the virus.”

He said they would then be allowed to “roam around as very free tourists.”

The foreigners were isolated in a secluded apartelle at Purok Malakas in Gensan before they were moved to the rehab center in Alabel. The center is a P350-milion China-funded facility with a 150-bed capacity inaugurated in December 2018 which came out as among the offshoots during the state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China in October 2016. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIOONS SERVICE)

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