ISABELA CITY, Basilan July 07 (PIA) - Basilan's fight versus COVID-19 bogged down after almost all of its fifty (50) frontliners were exposed to the disease that forced them to be placed under strict 14-day quarantine.
During the meeting of Governor Jim Salliman with key officials, heads, and responders Monday, the governor sought the help of the different municipal and city Inter-Agency Task Forces to augment their personnel as a number of its nurses and frontliners were tested COVID-19 positive that have close contact with their fellow frontliners and volunteers.
Fortunately, their fellows were tested negative on rapid test but has yet to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine and confirmatory testing, which has left the different quarantine facilities and COVID center unmanned.
Isabela City Health Officer Dr. Mohrein Ismael told the Isabela City Inter-Agency Task Force that convened also on Monday that the province is facing a dilemma and it needs the support of the municipalities and cities.
"Based on contact-tracing 49 and isa-swab. Halos buong team ay naka-quarantine, including their PDRRM head. Hindi abot kahit mag-skeletal force sila. (Based on the contact-tracing conducted, 49 are set to be swabbed. Almost all of the team is quarantined, including their PDRRM head. They cannot even setup a skeletal force)," Dr. Ismael reported.
Meanwhile, Isabela City is also struggling to augment personnel to the province since it is also facing the bloating number of persons to man it various Ligtas COVID facilities. To date over 200 Locally Stranded Individuals and Returning Overseas Filipinos are still in their quarantine facilities that has reached its full capacity.
As of July 6, COVID-19 positive cases in Isabela City accelerated to 25, while in the entire province of Basilan has reached 75 cases as per record. However, some confusions on the data were reported as some data has yet to be verified by authorities.
Moreover, Dr. Ismael has already called for more volunteers especially those with medical background. He also asked the city mayor to hire more personnel to man the new facilities that it need to open.
Isabela City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, meantime, appealed to the public to stay calm and do not panic.
"We expect the numbers to increase and this is what we are preparing for," she said, as she explained that the increase was due to the efficient contact-tracing scheme and that testing has been quicker, thereby, the team was able to determine all those infected and suspected.
"The good thing is that we know where they are. What we need to do is contain the infection with the full cooperation of the public," she said.
The city will also study the DILG's guidelines for local government units on the application of the Zoning Containment Strategy for COVID-19 as an option to going back to a General Community Quarantine. (NBE/RVC/PIA9-Basilan)