The Provincial Health Office (PHO) has advised municipal mayors to prepare their medical personnel and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) for the arrival of over 700 stranded Palaweños in Luzon and other parts of the country.
PHO chief Dr. Mary Ann Navarro said Monday in a live update of Provincial Information Office (PIO) that some stranded Palaweños outside the province are expected to arrive on the 3rd and last week of the month.
She said that the provincial government is currently coordinating with the airline companies for sweeper flights to repatriate them from where they are locked down to the province.
“Ang mga mayor at health officers ba ay handa na rin ba? Kasi ‘di ba nire-require ng DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) na dapat bawat barangay at munisipyo ay mayroong quarantine at isolation facility. Dapat nakahanda na ito dahil 3rd week or 4th week of May ay mayroon ng darating na locally stranded individuals,” Dr. Navarro said.
Dr. Navarro explained that municipal governments have the power to place the returning residents under a 14-day quarantine in a facility or at their homes as health safety measure.
She said those who will undergo home quarantine should also ensure they are not mingling with their family members and to follow quarantine protocols.
“Ngayon, nasa discretion ng munisipyo kung tatanggapin nila. Mayroon ba tayong pasilidad para ma-quarantine sila? Kasi kahit nag-ingat na tayo, may health certificate na galing sa Manila, ay pewede pa rin sila maging carrier ng COVID-19 kaya hindi sila pwedeng diretso sa bahay nila pagdating nila. Ready na ba tayo? Ang quarantine facility naman ay dapat may kanya-kanyang room at cr at may magbabantay at magsu-supply ng kailangan nila,” she said.
Navarro said that strandees are required to secure quarantine clearance from the place where they will come from.
They should also be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies that they should wear during their travel back to Palawan, she said.
“Kung ako mismo ay talagang mataas ang risk kung magpapauwi tayo pero matagal na po silang stranded at kailangan na nilang umuwi. May mga precautionary measures naman tayong gagawin, required ang quarantine clearance at naka-PPE sila (health workers). Pagdating sa munisipyo depende na po sa inyo kung iko-quarantine ninyo o papauwiin ninyo sa bahay. Ang mahalaga kapag pinauwi ay mayroon talaga silang room kasi hindi muna sila puwedeng makisalamuha sa mga kasama nila,” she said.
Dr. Navarro said that they have recorded more than 700 Palaweños who want to go home through the “Sagip Palaweño” hotline organized by the provincial government recently.
Dr. Navarro added that their return will be coordinated with their respective municipalities so they can create their quarantine plans.
“Nasa 799 ang gusto umuwi, ang gagawin natin ay ico-coordinate natin kung ilan ang uuwi para alam ninyo para mapaghandaan natin lalo na ang mga estudyante. Make sure na may pulis, tanod or staff na magmo-monitor,” she said.
She also emphasized that anyone who will not cooperate with the authorities while under quarantine may face charges under Section 9 and 10 of Republic Act 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
“Dapat ma-emphasize sa kanila na puwede silang makulong o mag-multa kapag umalis sila sa quarantine facility. We are taking the risk pero may humanitarian consideration din kasi kaya kailangan natin i-balanse. Ang Palawan po ay dalawang kaso lang, wala tayong local transmission kaya sana i-keep natin ‘yon na hindi nila tayo pasalubungan ng COVID-19,” Navarro said.