Palawan will continue to be at risk of rising COVID-19 cases if stranded locals from outside the province continue to come home, said former Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief Dr. Mary Ann Navarro.
She insisted that stricter quarantine protocols done in the province may help slow down the rise of cases.
In a live briefing, August 6, outgoing PHO and incoming El Nido District Hospital director Navarro was asked whether Palawan would continue to see rising COVID-19 cases. Navarro answered that if stranded individuals return home, Palawan is continually at risk for rising cases.
“Hangga’t nagpapauwi tayo from outside Palawan, malaki ang risk natin,” said Navarro.
Cases in the province continue to rise, with this week seeing ten new cases in Cuyo announced in a single day, and with five new cases for the city yesterday (August 7).
Navarro detailed the various strategies being implemented by the province to curb the rising number of COVID-19 patients. Those who wish to undergo home quarantine, which she stated is rare, need to have their own comfort room at home and have no co-morbidities. They are also required to have only one designated watcher at home.
“Ang magandang naging strategy ng Palawan, mula noong nag-umpisa ito, ni-require namin na quarantine facility talaga, hindi sa bahay. Very rare cases ang pinapayagan sa bahay, basta na-satisfy ang proper conditions,” she said.
Navarro also stated that extended quarantine periods and conducting rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) before and after being quarantined are some strategies being used to prevent local transmission. She also mentioned that strict quarantine protocols are applied for authorized persons outside residence (APORs), who are not mandated by the national government to undergo quarantine upon arrival.
“Hindi basta-basta nakakalusot ang local transmission dito. Sa ibang munisipyo pa nga, sa mga APOR, nag-istrikto,” said Navarro. Katulad sa Coron, pati APOR, kina-quarantine. Minsan nagkakaroon ng violent reaction diya, pero kung gusto talaga ng APOR na magtrabaho, kailangan niyang magpa-swab test bago pa makarating sa Palawan.”