The Department of Health in the region (DOH-13) convened on Friday the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) for Emerging and Re-Emerging Disease (EREID) for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) here.
The move came following the confirmation of three cases of patients under investigation (PUIs) in Caraga and the continued rise of the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
The meeting, presided by DOH-13 director Jose Llacuna, was joined by the region's governors, mayors, chiefs of hospitals and heads of government agencies.
“This is the third inter-agency task force meeting for Covid-19 in the region,” Llacuna said, as he briefed the members of the task force on the existing cases of PUIs and persons under m(PUMs) in the region.
DOH-13 has recorded three PUIs as of Thursday, two of them now admitted at the Adella Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur while the third is admitted for isolation at the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City.
The ages of the patients, who are males and Filipinos, range from 24, 31, and 38.
“The PUIs have histories of travels in countries with cases of Covid-19 and have exhibited flu-like symptoms that include cough, colds, and fever,” Llacuna said.
Samples taken from the PUIs were already sent to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for testing, Llacuna said.
“Only the PUIs will be tested through the prescribed nasal and oral swabs since they are subjected to higher risk in contracting Covid-19,” he said, adding that the nasal and oral swab is the only testing procedure followed by the health agency since it yields higher accuracy in the test results.
Llacuna also told the task force members that only the Level 2 hospitals, such as the Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center and the Caraga Regional Hospital are referred by the agency for Covid-19 patients.
As of Thursday, Caraga has 58 cases of PUMs, 53 of whom have already completed the 14-day isolation period, with five cases still monitored.
Agusan del Norte Governor Dale Corvera also informed the task force of the measures undertaken by the provincial government to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Corvera said aside from providing the necessary protective equipment to the frontline workers of the provincial government, a safe house was identified in relation to Covid-19.
Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. also updated the members of the task force on the heightened measures at checkpoints and the use of thermal scanners to travelers that pass through the province.
He also asked the task force members to help in the monitoring of persons or groups involved in the propagation of wrong information on Covid-19.
The local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Education in the region (DepEd-13) also discussed the suspension of classes in some areas.
On Thursday, a number of towns and cities in Caraga suspended the classes at all levels to protect the students, teachers, and personnel from Covid-19.
In a separate media interview, Llacuna urged Caraga residents, especially those who came from travels in Luzon and abroad, to help the government fight Covid-19.
“Give us the right information, especially in your recent travels, so that we can be guided rightly on how to deal with this Covid-19 phenomenon,” Llacuna said.
Source: Philippines News Agency