THE government has decided to temporarily suspend the transport of people stranded in the metropolitan area of Manila to their provinces of origin in the Visayas, following reports that these people and workers returning abroad are at risk. origin of the peak of Covid-19 cases in their provinces.
Thousands of people, dubbed by the government “locally stranded individuals” [LSI]”Was trapped in Metro Manila when the government imposed a lockdown in March to contain the pandemic, giving less than a day’s notice.
Stranded people were transported to their provinces by Navy and Coast Guard vessels and even by buses in the past two weeks, following concerns about their health, as many remained on the streets, under overflights and camped near airports and seaports.
“Yes, I approved a suspension of the repatriation of LSI to regions 6 and 8 for two weeks from today [Sunday]Said Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana, who is also chairman of the National Action Plan on Covid-19 (NAP-Covid-19).
“We have to leave [for] this is because it is the LSI who bring the virus to the provinces. Bacolod and Iloilo City data confirm this. The LGUs requested the suspension. We will have to find a better procedure to prevent this from happening, ”he said on Sunday.
Earlier, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, vice president of NTF-Covid-19, recommended halting the return of the LSI to their home provinces in the Visayas after local officials claimed that they were responsible for the increase in coronavirus cases.
Their claims were supported by regional health officials in the Visayas.
Examples of places include the city of Ormoc, where stringent LGU measures led by Mayor Richard Gomez have led Ormoc not to publish any Covid cases in the nearly three-month lockout. However, once LSI was approved, the city has since recorded more than 50 cases of infections.
Lorenzana said that since the cessation of efforts, the LSI should remain in their regions until the problem is resolved,
“They have to wait where they are. They should not go to the airport or the seaport. We have to force the LGUs to agree to receive them. Their problem is that their quarantine facilities are limited and they don’t want to be overwhelmed, ”he said.
Meanwhile, the military sent a medical team of nine doctors, 10 nurses and 13 medical assistants to Cebu on Saturday to intensify government efforts following the recent surge in cases in the city.
The team, known as the Task Group Central, led by Major Maria Adesitas Sagario, underwent precautionary swab tests and flu shots before their flight via a C-130 plane from the Philippines.
“We are proud of this team for having intensified this dangerous but very important mission. This is what it means to be a soldier and we know more than anyone that there is no danger of illness preventing us from accomplishing our mission, “said Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr., Vice Chief of the Defense Staff AFP during the sending ceremony in Villamor. Air-base.
Collado was joined by Carlito Galvez Jr., head of national task force implementation-Covid-19, and environment secretary Roy Cimatu at the ceremony. Cimatu is in charge of applying the Covid-19 protocols in Cebu City.
“You represent AFP. Take care of yourself and exercise your duties diligently, not only as members of the Armed Forces, but also as an individual. That way, when it is all over, you will have achieved personal fulfillment, ”Cimatu told the frontliners.