Dr. Arvin Alejandro, provincial health officer, advised travelers should cooperate “when they will be asked about their travel histories” and asked to also present identification cards and passports, if needed.
Dr. Alejandro pointed this out as the “strongest preventive aspect” to avert the possible spread of COVID-19 considering some loopholes are present where “pwedeng makalusot ang mga balikbayans or foreign nationals.”
Alejandro likewise stressed the City Health Office in General Santos City should likewise “strengthen their borders or checkpoints kasi diyan yung entry point ng lahat na papunta ng Sarangani province.”
In addition, some 1,039 Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) have been tapped to monitor at the barangay level through “engagements with other stakeholders, barangay council, municipal and provincial government units and other partners.”
He said the Provincial Health Office is currently providing information guide to BHWs as they will be the first line of defense in their barangays “para maiwasan ang pagpasok ng COVID-19 sa Sarangani.”
The deployment of BHWs was in response to the memorandum circular that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued amending the guide to action against the 2019 coronavirus disease.
DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2020-023 “enjoins all government units (LGUs) to effectively intensify the information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign on the nCOV ARD and implement programs, projects and services that will promote the general welfare, public health, and general well-being of every Filipino.”
Alejandro said the circular is also strengthening the necessity to “self-quarantine” all those who are coming from countries with confirmed cases.
“Ang importante ay dapat malaman ng lahat ng members ng community na may maka-alam na may dumating galing sa mga countries with positive cases as persons under monitoring or those undergoing self-quarantine, that when they develop fever, ubo at sipon, diarrhea, at difficulty of breathing, dapat ito ay mareport kaagad,” Alajendro said.
“Kailangan dito tulong-tulong lahat, pero wag naman magpanic,” Alejandro said. “We are providing as much as we can, yung mga appropriate information para hindi magpanic ang tao, para malaman nila kung paano i-prevent ito. And we just have to help each other.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)