Iloilo City bars ships from China, HK, Macau

ILOILO CITY Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has issued an order prohibiting ships from China and its administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, from entering ports in the city amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The directive was issued last week after a cargo vessel from Xiamen, China sought entry into Iloilo. The ship carrying fertilizer was first barred by the Bacolod City government when it arrived in the last week of February. “There is a need to address the threat of COVID-19 and its potential risk and danger to the health of the inhabitants of Iloilo City,” Mr. Teñas said in Executive Order No. 042. He added that the city government is in close coordination with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for the implementation of the order. Bacolod and Iloilo are among the main cities in the Western Visayas Region. As of Friday last week, there were no patients under investigation (PUI) in the region, based on the Department of Health (DoH) tracker. The DoH regional office has recorded 41 PUIs, with 40 already discharged while one remains under observation in a hospital. All had negative results for COVID-19. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo

2 patients under monitoring at SPMC isolation facility

TWO PATIENTS are currently under monitoring and being tested at the Southern Philippines Medical Center’s (SPMC) isolation facility in Davao City after showing symptoms of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), hospital chief Leopoldo J. Vega told media Saturday. Mr. Vega reiterated that their Airborne Infection & Protective Environment Isolation Facility is prepared to admit up to 12 patients at a time, and that health personnel are continuously being trained and updated on the virus. “We have to make sure also that we will be able to train our personnel, especially the medtechs (medical technologists) and have the necessary resources because COVID-19 is something new and we need training in a parallel with WHO (World Health Organization),” he said. There were previously 20 patients admitted and tested negative for the virus. Mr. Vega said they are also in step with the Department of Health’s declaration of a public health emergency following the first case of a local transmission in the capital. “It means we need to contain as much as we can the transmission of the disease… the containment of the (infected) person must be ensured,” he said. — Maya M. Padillo