Pangasinan starts COVID-19 mass testing; no new cases since April 25

PANGASINAN, which has not recorded any new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient since April 25, started mass testing for the virus on May 5 as the provincial government prepares for the possible easing of restrictions by May 16. Provincial Health Officer Anna Maria Teresa de Guzman, in an interview over the local government’s CapitolNewsTV said priority for testing are frontliners and the patients with mild symptoms who are currently under the care of various health facilities at the municipal level. She explained that “the moderate to severe cases” of about 400 who are admitted in hospitals have already been tested and identified which ones are COVID-19 positive. Pangasinan, still under the strict enhanced community quarantine guidelines, had 39 confirmed cases as of May 5, with 26 recoveries, nine deaths, and four still in hospital.

Construction of temporary shelters for Cotabato earthquake victims resumes

CONSTRUCTION work is resuming soon for the adopt-a-home program for families displaced by the series of earthquakes in Cotabato last year as quarantine restrictions in the province have been eased starting May 1. Vice Governor Emmylou T. Mendoza said one shelter is already “ongoing” while computations and procurement of materials and labor are ongoing for the rest. Before the restrictions imposed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in March, the sponsorship-based program was aiming to start building 40 shelters in the town of Tulunan, the epicenter of several earthquakes. “In the time of COVID-19, other beneficiaries returned to their old homes while others lived with their relatives,” Ms. Mendoza said via Viber. In December last year, five units were already turned over to families in the town’s Barangay Magbok. Ms. Mendoza said their overall target is 100 homes for the villages of Magbok and Paraiso. — Maya M. Padillo