VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon, (PIA)–Barangay Lumbayao in Valencia City, Bukidnon was placed under ‘lockdown’ after a 50-year old village official and businessman tested positive of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
City vice mayor Dr. Policarpo Murillo, head of Emergency Operations Response Team said they learned only on Holy Thursday, April 9, of the patient’s status upon receipt of the laboratory test. The patient is now strictly home-confined.
Local health authorities said the patient was earlier categorized as Person Under Investigation (PUI) or suspect (new classification) and advised to stay at home according to the Inter-Agency Task Force’s protocol.
But having varied businesses like quarry, farm, store, and trading, among others, he defied local health orders regarding home quarantine. He even joined a big cock derby in Matina, Davao City last March 12.
In a press conference, Mayor Azucena Huervas detailed some time lines after the patient got back home on March 13.
She said the patient manifested symptoms like mild cough, fever, and diarrhea a few days after arriving home. Thus, on April 2, the patient agreed to go through a swab for COVID testing.
On April 9, a week after testing, the Department of Health (DOH) released the test result that came positive of COVID-19.
Immediately, the mayor issued Executive Order No. 31 placing barangay Lumbayao under “total lockdown” effective April 9-26, 2020 and implemented a 24-hour curfew for minors and senior citizens in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Huervas said the ‘total lockdown’ translates to stricter imposition of the enhanced community quarantine as defined in issued executive orders that explain the implementing framework and guidelines.
The mayor assured that the local government unit (LGU) is now on extensive contact tracing to ensure that everyone who had dealings with the patient will also be isolated to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
“As it stands now, we have already our first positive case of COVID-19 in the province of Bukidnon who comes from Valencia City. I am reiterating my order and plea for the residents to stay at home—except in certain circumstances—in order to reduce COVID-19 exposure,” Huervas said.
If voluntary cooperation cannot be achieved, the LGU is equipped to enforce the ‘orders and restrictions’ through arrest, she added.
On April 8, a day before DOH released the patient’s COVID-positive test result, Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. urged everyone to stay indoors because effective April 13-26, Bukidnon borders will be shut off to traffic—except for truckloads of foodstuff and medicines. He stressed however that one in a family is allowed to go out to buy either food or medications. He even warned that violators will be arrested.
As of April 11, Bukidnon has recorded 21 Persons Under Investigation (suspect); 1,347 Persons Under Monitoring; and 1 confirmed COVID-19 positive.
Media interviews with the barangay folks said, “Zubiri’s ‘lockdown’ order might be a well-timed intervention as the province now faces this COVID-19 plague.” (RLRB/PIA10)