35 BARMM center employees in Cotabato City contract Covid-19

Thirty-five employees of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) administrative center here have tested positive for coronavirus disease, the region’s head minister said.


In a statement on Thursday night, Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim, said of the total infected employees, 29 are residents of the city while six are from nearby Maguindanao province.


“The newly confirmed cases are all in stable condition and undergoing strict isolation,” Ebrahim said.


On Aug. 30, the BARMM compound, particularly the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM) building, recorded its first case of Covid-19, despite the strict public health standards within the vicinity.


Clustering of individuals with influenza-like-illness and contact tracing immediately ensued in which two staff later tested positive.


To contain the spread of the virus, the OCM building was temporarily closed for disinfection and sanitation.


Employees and officials of the OCM were enjoined to work-from-home and those who had direct contact and recent transactions with the initial confirmed cases have undergone swab tests from September 2 to 5.


“Out of the 181 results received from the 229 swab samples taken, 32 tested positive,” Ebrahim said, adding that the new cases are mostly essential employees from the OCM.


Currently, there are now 35 confirmed cases within the BARMM compound.


Ebrahim, however, said the new cases should not cause panic, citing that the BARMM government is implementing an aggressive containment strategy to control and avoid any further spread of the virus, which includes close coordination with pertinent offices outside the compound.


Massive disinfection of offices in the BARMM center has also been conducted in the past several days as an additional preventive measure.


Ebrahim said families of the infected personnel have also been given assistance for their daily needs.


“We also would like to remind the public that the threat of COVID-19 is indeed real,” Ebrahim said as he reiterated his call to constituents to always practice minimum health standards – wearing of face masks and face shields, frequent washing of hands, and safe physical distancing – at all times.


Meanwhile, across the BARMM, its Ministry of Health (MOH) recorded 10 new cases with one recovery as of Thursday.


In its bulletin, the MOH said five of the news cases were from Marawi City, one each for the towns of Malabang, Tamparan, and Calanogas, all in Lanao del Sur; and also one case each for the towns of Sultan Kudarat and South Upi in Maguindanao.


The same bulletin did not mention where the lone recovery took place on Thursday.


The BARMM has a cumulative total of 759 confirmed cases with 541 recoveries for a 71-percent recovery rate since March this year. Meanwhile, active cases are at 196 with 22 deaths.


Source: Philippines News Agency


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