Police sets up quarantine facility inside headquarters

THE Kiangan Billeting Center inside the police national headquarters has been temporarily converted as a quarantine facility for officers who are considered patients under investigation (PUI) and persons under monitoring (PUM) for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A total of 152 police personnel are listed as PUIs or those with symptoms of the virus, while 1,422 are PUMs, or those with travel histories and contacts with COVID-19 patients. Ten police officers have so far tested positive for COVID-19, mostly deployed in Metro Manila and parts of Luzon. Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Franciso F. Gamboa has tested negative for the disease. “He underwent tests and the result was negative… He remains healthy but is adapting strict biosafety measures,” PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard M. Banac said on Wednesday. — Emmanuel Tupas, PHILSTAR

In the sardines capital, households get fresh fish as part of food relief program


THE BUREAU of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Zamboanga Peninsula (BFAR-9) office has initiated a program to deliver fresh fish to poor households in Zamboanga City amid restrictions in line with preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The city, dubbed as the sardines capital of the country, is under an enhanced community quarantine, wherein public transport has been suspended apart from limited movement for people. BFAR’s #FishStayAtHome program is in collaboration with the local government, the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, Southern Philippines (SOPHIL) Deep Sea Fishing Association Inc., and other fishing companies based in Zamboanga City. Under the program, two cold storage facilities have been identified as drop-off points for fresh fish donations from fishing companies. The fish are then distributed to households, with priority given to poor communities, in coordination with barangay officials. As of March 31, BFAR-9 said they have already made four delivery batches with over 1,500 kilos of fish delivered. “Not only the barangays were given food fish donations, but also other government front liners specifically the Philippine National Police,” BFAR-9 reported. Groups — such as restaurants and one led by a Western Mindanao State University professor — that are preparing cooked food packs for frontliners have also been made beneficiaries of the #FishStayAtHome program. Meanwhile, the city government has also been distributing the usual food relief packs containing, among other items, rice and canned sardines. Zamboanga City hosts 12 major canning factories. — Marifi S. Jara

Entire Guimbal town under COVID-19 monitoring after local transmission

RESIDENTS of Guimbal, a town with a population of about 34,000 as of 2015, have all been placed as persons under monitoring (PUM) after local transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was confirmed by health authorities. Two of the 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Western Visayas Region as of March 31 are from Guimbal, located about 33 kilometers west of Iloilo City. “Guimbal fell under the definition of local transmission, meaning the source of the infection is within the reporting location,” Department of Health-Center for Health Development Region 6 (DOH-CHD-6) Director Marlyn W. Convocar said on Tuesday. “Because of that (local transmission), all of the residents should be monitored as PUMs and undergo (14-day) home quarantine,” she added. DOH-CHD-6 officials met with local government leaders of Iloilo province last Tuesday to help address Guimbal’s situation. Guimbal Vice Mayor Jennifer Garin-Colada said the declaration of all Guimbal residents as PUMs would mean an extension of their enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which already ended March 27. The new 14-day ECQ, which means residents cannot exit the town and no entry will be allowed, started March 31. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo