The City of Puerto Princesa is now waiting for further local guidelines from its COVID-19 Task Force after the first “possible community transmission” case was announced Saturday, said the City Information Officer (CIO).
CIO Richard Ligad told Palawan Daily News (PDN) Saturday, June 20, that all the established rules, regulations, and health safety protocols in the city will remain until further notice.
“Inaantay natin ‘yong recommendation ng IATF ng local. Kung ano ‘yong magiging recommendation ng IATF, doon tayo. Depende sa mgiging rekomendasyon nila, kung makakapag-meet sila mamaya kung mayroon silang agad na rekomendasyon bukas, i-implement natin,” said Ligad.
CIO Ligad affirmed that all the guidelines under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) will continue in the city including that which concerns the establishments, transportation, and curfew hours until Puerto Princesa Task Force for COVID-19 releases an updated set of health safety regulations
In a live video advisory over the City Information Department’s Facebook page Saturday morning, Ligad advised the public to strictly obey those already established health safety measures.
“Huwag niyong babalewalain ang hindi pagsu-suot ng face mask [at] ang hindi pagso-social o physical distancing sa labas ng ating mga tahanan. Hindi po natin kakayanin ito o mahihirapan po tayo kapagka iyan ay nag-arise ng kagaya sa ibang lugar at sabay-sabay mapuno ang mga ospital natin,” he added.
In the same advisory, Dr. Dean Palanca, upon answering the query of Ligad, said that while further investigation will still be conducted, this case is possibly a local transmission.
Palanca added contact tracing within the family members of this female medical staff who tested positive for COVID-19 is also being carried out.
“Tayo ay mag-i-imbestiga pa rin po [kung] ano ‘yong kasong ito pero ang masasabi natin possible local transmission po ito sa Puerto Princesa City,” said Palanca.
“Kahapon noong ito ay nabigyan kami ng report na may confirmed case dito sa ating isang personnel sa Ospital ng Palawan, so itong isang personnel na ito ay agarang in-extract muna natin siya sa kaniyang lugar. Kagabi rin nga po ay isolated na doon at magpapagaling ng kaniyang nararamdaman. Ang ating panalangin po na sana gumaling din po itong [lahat ng] ating mga pasyente, hindi lang po siya,” he also said.
Dr. Audie Cipriano, the ONP Chief of the Medical Professional Staff, announced in this video advisory that their female personnel was confirmed positive for COVID-19 using RT-PCR GeneXpert.
Cipriano said those who have been exposed to the female patient will undergo swab test.
“Right after na mag-positive nagpa-meeting po ako agad for the contact tracing within the hospital kung sino po ‘yong mga na-expose sa kaniya. Testing are done as of the moment, ngayon pinapa-swab po natin. Ang affected areas po natin ay pinapa-decontaminate na po natin as the guidelines po ng DOH,” he said.
Cipriano added that ONP will be limiting and may even temporarily halt its Outpatient Department’s operations for the safety of the patients.
He also sought help from the hospitals in the municipalities by catering the patients they can handle.