Mindanao Times

MisOr OFW placed in isolation after arriving from Hong Kong


NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental -- An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from this town was put in an isolation room in a hospital of a neighborin­g town a day after her arrival from Hong Kong on February 2.

Naawan Mayor Dennis Roa said Wednesday he came to know of the OFW’s arrival in the town following a tipoff from a concerned citizen who reported that the person appeared to be sick.

On the evening of February 3, Roa said the local government’s rescue unit picked up the 29-year-old woman from her house where she lives with her parents and a niece.

The suspected novel coronaviru­s case (nCoV) was immediatel­y reported to the Department of Health (DOH), Roa said.

“Our rescue team picked her up and at first she was hesitant but the team explained to her the procedure and the mandate of the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local

Government) to help the DOH monitor possible cases of coronaviru­s,” Roa said.

DOH-10 then tested the patient and the result is expected to be available on Friday (February 7), he said.

If the patient tested negative for the novel coronaviru­s, she will undergo a second swab test where the result will be available in 48 hours, he added.

Dr. Gwendelyn Labastilla, Rural Health Unit officer of the municipali­ty, said the patient showed no signs of sickness.

“She is asymptomat­ic,” Labastilla said during a briefing with the barangay officials and health personnel on Wednesday. Temporary ban on foreign tourists in GSC amid nCoV

Meanwhile, the General Santos City Council is seeking a temporary ban on the entry of foreign nationals

from countries affected by the outbreak of the novel coronaviru­s acute respirator­y disease (2019-nCoV).

In a resolution passed on Tuesday afternoon, the council said the move is to prevent the entry and spread of the disease to the area following the global health emergency declared by the World Health Organizati­on.

Councilor Franklin Gacal Jr., author of the resolution, said the temporary ban covers all countries with confirmed deaths and infections of 2019nCoV, which was first reported in Wuhan, China.

“This is a precaution­ary measure to protect our residents from this dreaded disease,” he said in an interview.

The resolution will be transmitte­d to the Office of City Mayor Ronnel Rivera for appropriat­e action.

The councilor earlier pushed for the entry ban, which he also called a “temporary lockdown,” on all Chinese nationals but the resolution was expanded to include other affected countries as a result of the council’s deliberati­ons.

He noted that the Sanggunian­g Panlungsod or city council, under the Local Government Code, is empowered under the general welfare clause to enact measures that are “necessary and proper” to ensure the health and safety of residents.

“There is an imperative

need to insulate the city from the fatal virus in order to ensure the protection of the people,” he said.

Gacal said the city is at risk to the spread of the disease due to the daily direct flights from Manila and Cebu, the main entry points of foreign travelers.

The city is also close to Davao City, which has internatio­nal flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, Quanzhou in China, Doha and Manado in Indonesia.

The Davao-Quanzhou flights are currently suspended due to the 2019-nCoV outbreak in China.

“We can immediatel­y lift the ban once the disease is no longer considered a threat in the country,” he said.

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