First Posted 09:15 PM 7/04/2020

Maripipi, Biliran —- Mayor Joseph Caingcoy of the Island Municipality of Maripipi has appealed to his constituents to calm down even if one of their constituents who returned to the island on coordinated process tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Mayor Joseph Caingcoy
Mayor Joseph Caingcoy

Mayor Caingcoy said that the patient, now tagged as MB-1, is a 26 years old male from Parañaque, Metro Manila, who boarded an Air Asia flight No. Z2331 on June 18, and arrived in Tacloban about 9:30 in the morning that day. He comes from Barangay Casibang, Maripipi.

He said that the patient was met by the Provincial Transport Team of the Provincial Government of Biliran, and he was later transferred by an ambulance to the Kawayan Port, where he rode on a boat to Maripipi and arrived about 11:00 a.m. at the Maripipi port.

Mayor Caingcoy said that upon arrival MB-1 underwent thermal scanning and other health protocols and he was immediately brought to the isolation facility of the town.

The mayor disclosed that the isolation facility is well equipped and well secured because there are assigned police personnel there. He said that the LGU also hired watchmen who worked around the clock in three shifts to secure those who are in isolation.

Mayor Caingcoy disclosed that MB-1 had companions in the van in returning to the province, of which 5 were from Naval, 1 from Kawayan, and another from Maripipi, thus 8 of them inside the van.

He said that after learning the report on Thursday night that MB-1 was positive, he immediately conducted a virtual meeting with the local IATF and the MDRRMO on what to do now that this kind of situation has arrived.

Mayor Caingcoy said that first and foremost, that should conduct a contact tracing of the people that they patient were with. He said that among them were those that conducted swab testing, boat operators, ambulance drivers and his other companions in the van.

He added that MB-1 was immediately isolated in one of the isolation buildings.

The mayor wants to inform his constituents that the LGU has already constructed an isolation facility for treatment/ monitoring of COVID-19 positives two weeks ago, the second facility of the island town. The budget came from the DOH special fund for the Province of Biliran, which was intended for asymptomatic and mild cases. Thus the people of Maripipi have nothing to worry because the patient is already placed in a separate room.

Mayor Caingcoy disclosed that the LGU continues to do their best to secure the municipality from the proliferation of COVID-19 virus. He said that the MB-1 has already completed the 14 days isolation and, based on their meeting with DOH officials, if a person is isolated for 11 days already and has shown no symptoms of the disease, then the virus within that person is not infectious anymore. But the measures to assure and avoid the proliferation of the virus remain.

The mayor appealed to his constituents to continue the health protocols of wearing the face mask, hand washing, rubbing of alcohol, social distancing and avoiding mass gathering. The mayor also appeals to use only one port in going in and out of the island so that this contact tracing will be made easier. He appealed to the people of Maripipi to report to the police or IATF if they found anybody arriving in the town using other ports.

Mayor Caingcoy has also appealed to his constituents who are now in other places in the country who wanted to return to the town to coordinate with the local Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management, because the isolation facility of the town could only accommodate 14 individuals at a time.

He also mentioned that the town is implementing a travel restriction, which is Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for business transactions going in and out of the island. But they can go to the mainland anytime for essential needs, provided that they have a travel pass.

Somehow, the mayor disclosed that the LGU has already prepared an isolation facility two weeks ago should a constituent will turn out positive for the virus. He appeals to his constituents not to worry because the LGU is already prepared along with the IATF and other line agencies are also conducting weekly meeting to monitor the situation. He added that the isolation facilities of the town have 6 beds that they have prepared. –

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