Governor Amado I. Espino III highlighted the safety protocols to be implemented in Pangasinan amid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the Inter-Agency Task Force meeting held at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center (PTDC) II on March 13.
Reiterating the content of Resolution No. 11 released by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, Governor Espino enjoined concerned national agencies and local government units for full cooperation in preparation for the provincial government of the return of Pangasinenses from the Metro Manila.
“This is the time where we need full cooperation,” Governor Espino stated noting that safety of Pangasinenses is the topmost priority in the province during this situation.
Governor Espino guaranteed that the provincial government stays full alert for all possibilities, especially, after President Rodrido Duterte declared community quarantine in Metro Manila via press conference on March 12 which will take effect on March 15.
The community quarantine suspends land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila until April 14.
Hence, Governor Espino urges close monitoring on all returning Pangasinenses from Manila.
“Lahat ng uuwi na na-monitor from Manila ay mag-a-undergo ng self-quarantine for 14 days,” he said noting that local government units including rural health unit doctors will play a vital role in implementing this safety measure.
Governor Espino ordered one-month suspension of classes in all levels in the province, including Dagupan City.
This will limit the movement and activities of the students, Governor Espino said.
Reiterating the suspension of fiestas and other activities in the barangay including barangay assembly that are expected to draw crowds, Governor Espino said that there will be no Pistay Dayat this year.
Calling on all local chief executives, Governor Espino urge for establishment of determined quarantine area in every municipality.
Reiterating the difference of patients under investigation (PUI) and person under monitoring, PHO Chief Anna Ma. Teresa S. De Guzman urged close coordination of LGUs with the PHO especially if a Pangasinense who has a travel history show symptoms of acute respiratory syndrome.
“Once it was established that someone has a travel history or exposure with a COVID patient and has symptoms of acute respiratory syndrome, ang advice po sa munisipyo ay itawag na sa ospital at kami na ang susundo sa kanila,” Dr. De Guzman explained.
The PHO also noted that provincial government hospitals have already established ambulance equipped with safety gears which will pick up PUIs for laboratory tests.
It was noted that PUIs are those who have history of travel, history of exposure with a confirmed case or visited a health facility with a confirmed case, with respiratory symptoms, and has fever while PUMs are persons who have travel history or had exposure to those with confirmed COVID, but have no signs and symptoms.
Dr. De Guzman noted that PUMs need to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days.
Dr. De Guzman stressed that as of today, March 13, the province has two PUIs.
The PUIs who are both overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have history of travel in Saudi Arabia and show symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Dr. De Guzman said.
“Dalawa na lang ang ating binabantayan at hinihintay na lang natin ang kanilang laboratory tests,” she stated.
Dr. De Guzman also added that the community quarantine in Metro Manila is an advantage for Pangasinan.Hence, the PHO closely monitors various Inter-Local Health Zones, including clustering of municipalities under the 14 provincial government hospitals and coordinates with public health nurses of the 47 municipalities and cities in Pangasinan, she disclosed.
Dr. Anna also assured that the provincial government hospitals and health workers in Pangasinan are now under code red and all are equipped and ready in case the situation worsens.
“Lahat po ng private rooms sa ating mga ospital ay magiging isolation rooms,” she further stated.
Hence, the provincial government calls on every Pangasinense to stay vigilant and report to health authorities any concern that might put the health of Pangasinenses at risk.
/Shiella Mae C. De Guzman (Photos by Jin Perez)