Araceli townsfolk, fearing a potential spread of COVID-19 in the municipality, has petitioned the local government to improve its management of the town’s quarantine facility.
A petition addressed to town mayor Noel Beronio and sent Tuesday signed by at least 34 local residents claimed that the temporary quarantine facility in Purok II, Barangay Poblacion “does not conform” with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum No. 2020-064.
“This resulted in the quarantined individuals sharing their tents, drinking liquor, and accessing the nearby sari-sari store to buy some essentials,” the petition said.
A Palawan News source had earlier separately claimed that the facility allowed a COVID-19 confirmed patient to mingle with non-COVID residents who were merely under quarantine.
Responding to the reports, the Araceli municipal health office (MHO) issued a statement on social media denying allegations that they allowed breaches in health protocols at the facility.
Two COVID-19 positive patients confined in the facility, Patients No. 2 and 3, also issued a joint statement denying reports they had a drinking session in the isolation facility, which caused the virus to spread from Patient 2 to Patient 3.
In the statement, the MHO insisted that the COVID-19 positive patients had been informed and were prohibited from sharing personal items with each other, including their immediate family members.
“Binawalan silang magsama sa isang tent, kahit pa sa bahay ‘yong set up nila ay iisang kagamitan lang ang ginamit, kung ano mahawakan ni Patient No. 3 ay nahahawakan din ng pamilya. Iyan ay nai-advice na kay Patient No. 3 bago sila nailipat sa facility,” the statement said.
The statement also asserted that the local officials are doing daily rounds to monitor the suspected and confirmed patients, checking the situation in a timely manner.
“Araw-araw namin nakakausap ang ating mga pasyente, lahat ng pangangailangan at katanungan nila ay agad naman namin tinutugunan at binibigyan ng kasagutan,” the statement added.
The Palawan News source has confirmed that a barangay health officer had visited those who were required to undergo home quarantine, but pointed out that it was the first visit after about four days and after the report was published.
The municipal government, in a separate Facebook post on Tuesday, announced that groundbreaking has transpired on Tuesday to erect a new temporary treatment and monitoring facility for the suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.