Cebu allocates P25.5-M to combat nCoV

- The provincial government of Cebu has allocated PHP25.5 million to fund the combined efforts of local government units (LGU) to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in their localities.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said Thursday the fund has been readied as financial assistance to all LGUs mandated by the executive order she issued on February 4 to establish home quarantine for Filipinos residing in the province suspected of having been infected with the virus.

We should all join hands here. We should not be fighting each other kay (because) what we need now is unity. Cebu is doing its part to make this burden a little lighter, Garcia told local officials during an emergency meeting at the Capitol Social Hall on Thursday afternoon.

The emergency meeting was attended by key members of the 2019-nCoV provincial task force, mayors, municipal, and city health officers and chiefs of police of different municipalities.

Garcia's executive order imposes a mandatory 14-day quarantine of passengers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

The issuance also identified protocols for home quarantine for Filipinos or foreigners who are carrying a Philippine permanent residency visa.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, director of the Department of Health (DOH) 7 (Central Visayas), said home quarantine is an alternative in isolating persons suspected of having the 2019-nCoV, noting that Cebu has limited quarantine facilities run by the provincial government and the Center for Health Development (CHD) of the agency.

Earlier, the DOH and the Capitol identified the Eversley Child's Sanitarium and General Hospital in Mandaue City, the province-owned Women and Children Development Center in Lahug, Cebu City, and an unused drug rehabilitation in Pinamungajan, south of Cebu, as quarantine centers.

The local chief executives who attended the meeting vowed to adopt the executive order.

Garcia said the mayors were planning to declare their versions of state of preparedness so they can act in unison in facing the crisis.

Some Cebu LGUs earlier opposed plans to establish quarantine areas in their towns.

This is a declaration of unity against the virus and a declaration of unity for the good of Cebu. There's no other option, we have to win, Garcia said.

In a memorandum she issued to local officials, Garcia identified the mayors as head of their respective monitoring teams and tasked them to identify a point-person who will regularly coordinate with the Provincial Task Force Quarantine Team at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport for possible referrals for home quarantine.

The monitoring teams are tasked to inspect households of arriving passengers who would be candidate for home quarantine.

The order stated that among the requirements for home quarantine is the availability of a separate room where the person will be isolated and no children below 10 years old or senior citizens beyond 60 should also be in the same residence.

Garcia said the mayor should direct barangay captains to assign barangay tanod or watchmen to secure the vicinity of the household that qualifies to be a venue for home quarantine, while the local police chiefs are tasked to assign personnel to ensure that the person in home quarantine (PIHQ) remains isolated.

Each of the 51 LGUs in the province (44 municipalities and seven component cities) will receive PHP500,000 each to spend for the procurement of personal protective equipment, gloves, disinfectant alcohol, face masks, and other needed materials amid the threat of the 2019-nCoV.

Meanwhile, Bernadas told the officials who attended the meeting that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III expressed his admiration for Cebu province, being the first LGU to address the threat of the new virus.

In an interview, he said 29 persons in Central Visayas are under investigation, 21 of whom are in Cebu, seven in Negros Oriental, and one in Bohol.

He said they also listed some persons under monitoring.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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