BUTUAN CITY, August 10 (PIA) -- Despite the easement of community quarantine implementation in Caraga region, health authorities continue to detect a surge of locally transmitted cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the region, particularly in the city.
As of August 8, Caraga region now has a total of 55 cases of local transmission. Butuan City holds the highest record, with 44 cases tallied in the city, followed by eight cases in Claver town in Surigao del Norte, all of which were employees of the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation. The remaining three cases had a travel history in Butuan City.
While the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has recommended that the whole region be placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) from August 1 - 15, the city government of Butuan continued to impose a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) on 36 barangays namely Agao; Agusan Pequeno; Ambago; Baan Km. 3; Baan Riverside; Bading; Bancasi; Bayanihan; Buhangin; Dagohoy; Diego Silang; Doongan; Fort Poyohon; Golden Ribbon; Holy Redemeer; Humabon; Imadejas; J. P. Rizal; Lapu-lapu; Leon Kilat; Libertad; Limaha; Maon; Masao; New Society Village; Obrero; Ong Yiu; Pangabugan; Rajah Soliman; San Ignacio; San Vicente; Sikatuna; Silongan; Tandang Sora; Urduja; and Villa Kanangga.
An enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was imposed on Purok 6-A of Brgy. Buhangin, where local transmission is most prevalent.
The implementation of varying degrees of community quarantine was made effective on July 28 until August 10 through the Resolution No. 61 of the Caraga Regional Task Force on COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) concurring the request of the city government of Butuan.
Authorities are now hastening their interventions to address the ballooning number of cases.
The city government of Butuan inaugurated its molecular laboratory and COVID-19 facilities on July 28, which is the first in the entire Caraga region. Since staff members and technicians are still undergoing training, the laboratory will be allowed to operate upon the approval of the DOH.
The same facilities are also being established in the province of Agusan del Sur and in Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center in Surigao del Sur province.
Meanwhile, GeneXpert laboratories are now being established in different locations in Caraga. The construction of the said laboratory in Surigao City is now on-going while the laboratory in Manuel J. Santos Hospital in Butuan City had already been inspected by the DOH and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and is expected to be fully functional on August.
Local health authorities continuously appeal to the public to remain vigilant and abide health protocols even when heightened community quarantine has eased. (DMNR/PIACaraga)