Iloilo addresses ‘quarantine fatigue’ among frontliners as province prepares for lifting of ban on returning residents

THE ILOILO Provincial Health Office is rolling out a program that will help medical frontliners deal with “quarantine fatigue” as residents stranded in other parts of the country may be allowed to start returning again by July 16. “We will have a refresher for our frontliners at the Rural Health Units on basic things like wearing of PPE (personal protective equipment), something that they already know, except that since we have been on quarantine for three months, quarantine fatigue will set in,” Gov. Arthur R. Defensor, Jr. said in a briefing Monday. The two-week suspension on returning residents, who need to be processed and placed on quarantine, was able to give the province’s facilities some respite, Mr. Defensor said. At the same time, local governments have been able to prepare additional facilities to house returnees. The governor said they are just waiting now for the decision of the national task force handling the coronavirus response on whether the ban in Iloilo, along with the rest of Western Visayas Region, will be lifted after July 15. The region recorded 552 cases as of July 12, of which 410 are either returning overseas workers or locally stranded residents. Of the total, 363 are active cases while 178 patients have recovered and 11 died. Aside from Iloilo, Western Visayas is composed of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental, including the independent cities of Iloilo and Bacolod.

3rd typhoon for the year expected to weaken by Wednesday

TROPICAL DEPRESSION Carina, the third typhoon to hit the country this year, brought heavy rains to northern parts of Luzon Monday, but is expected to weaken by Wednesday. Weather bureau PAGASA, in its 5 p.m. Monday update, said landfall was possible at the northeastern part of mainland Luzon or Batanes and Babuyan Islands. Storm signal number 1 was up in Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northeastern towns of Cagayan. The typhoon was located 165 kilometers east of Aparri as of 4 p.m. Monday, with maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.