TACLOBAN CITY – Two sub-villages in Tarangnan town in Samar province were placed under total lockdown starting Tuesday after two residents tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Tarangnan Mayor Arnel Tan, in the afternoon of the same day, issued Executive Order 6, placing Sitio (sub-village) Duyanan in Imelda village and Sitio Upper Bahay in Bahay village under total lockdown starting April 7.
As directed, residents of the two communities are not allowed to go out of their respective houses, not even for livelihood purposes.
“Only personnel from the security forces, medical and rescue teams of the town can enter the two communities. Food, water, and other basic needs of residents will be provided by the local government unit,” Tan said.
He issued the directive just a few hours after the Department of Health (DOH) 8 (Eastern Visayas) here announced that two workers of the Tarangnan Community Hospital caught the deadly virus. The region’s fourth and fifth confirmed Covid-19 patients reside in these two sub-villages.
Their family members are prohibited from going out of their house day and night. Village officials, soldiers, and policemen were deployed to make sure that community members would not breach quarantine protocols.
Meanwhile, villages in the town with no reported Covid-19 case were placed under restrictive community quarantine.
Residents can leave their house wearing face masks if they have a valid reason and if they have a quarantine pass issued by the local government.
Tan has ordered the arrest of bystanders even if they have a quarantine pass, as well as the suspension of construction work in their town.
Only essential businesses are allowed to operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There is also a total ban on liquor and gambling.
Tan sought the understanding of their neighboring in the rush to control the disease from spreading.
“All we need is your moral support and acceptance as fellow Samar residents. Rest assured that we will do our best in ensuring that no further harm will be inflicted on your respective towns or cities,” he said.
In a press briefing, DOH-8 Director Minerva Molon disclosed that the two positive Covid-19 patients had close contacts with a doctor from Calbayog City, the region’s second Covid-19 patient.
The three patients are now confined at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City, the region’s referral hospital for Covid-19.
“With the recent report of our Covid-19 cases, this means that there is already a local transmission in the region, particularly Tarangnan. I would like to put emphasis on the importance of staying home and observe strict home isolation if you have symptoms. This is to stop the spread of the virus,” Molon said.
The DOH has issued a guideline on the identification of patients under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs).
Under the advisory, people considered in this classification are those with travel history in the past 14 days to areas with local transmission.
It added that people who will be classified as PUM and PUI are those with exposure in areas with local transmission and close contact with suspected virus carriers. (PNA)