Cotabato City (April 21, 2020)—BARMM IATF Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Mohd Asnin Pendatun announced Tuesday, April 21, that the Bangsamoro Government targets to finish the construction of 100-bed capacity isolation center dedicated for the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) patients in three (3) weeks.
During the Tuesday’s virtual presser held in Cotabato City, Pandatun said, “batay sa update ng Ministry of Public Works, ina-anticipate po natin na matatapos po ito within three weeks.”
The said joint project of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is located near the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
Pendatun also said that the Bangsamoro IATF is “leaning towards the direction” of using rapid test kits in the region, with consistencies from the guidelines set by the national government of the Philippines.
However, he clarified that Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing will still be the sole basis and standard for testing COVID-19.
“Ang national government is also leaning towards using rapid test kits, but not as the sole basis or the standard for testing confirmed cases. This is perhaps a way for augmenting or supplementing our testing,” Pendatun said.
According to him, the MOH will request a portion of the incoming rapid test kits from the national government.
“Kung ito po ay medyo matatagalan at kung gaganda pa ang development ng rapid test kits, it is an option for the IATF na mag-procure po ng rapid test kits,” he stated.
He also stated that the rapid test kits will help in determining suspect cases who needs priority for PCR testing.
“In any case, katulad po sa ibang countries, ginagamit ito para magkaroon ng determination para malaman kung sino ang ipa-prioritize sa ating PCR test,” he added.
To date, the Bangsamoro region has recorded a total of nine (9) Covid-confirmed cases, after an additional confirmed case from last week’s report was indexed—she is PH6367, a Marawi City resident, with no recent travel history.
Her laboratory result was released on April 17, 2020, and is currently admitted at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro.
“Atin pong napag-alaman na siya ay positibo sa Covid-19 at atin pong mino-monitor nang maigi ‘yong sitwasyon niya, dahil mayroon po siyang underlying medical conditions tulad ng hypertension, diabetes, at chronic kidney disease,” Pendatun explained.
Furthermore, BARMM has zero (0) probable and 235 suspected Covid-19 cases—46 from Maguindanao, 32 from Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, 42 from Basilan and Lamitan City, 23 from Tawi-Tawi, 62 from Sulu, and 30 from Sibakil Island in Basilan.
Meanwhile, the Bangsamoro Government through the BARMM’s Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READI) has finished the first wave of relief operation to the 63 barangays in North Cotabato.
BARMM-READI Head Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo said some 60,000 households from 22 barangays of Pikit, 13 barangays of Midsayap, 12 barangays of Pigcawayan, 7 barangays of Kabacan, 7 barangays of Carmen and 2 barangays of Aleosan have already received food packs.
“This is just part of the first wave of our massive relief operations conducted simultaneously in the entire Bangsamoro Region,” Sinarimbo said, who is also the region’s Minister of Interior and Local Government and BARMM spokesperson. (Bureau of Public Information)