Cotabato City (April 22, 2020)—The island provinces of BARMM maintained zero positive Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) case according to the region’s Health Minister Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan on Wednesday, April 22, in a virtual press briefing held in Cotabato City.
The BARMM island provinces include Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa) where no confirmed positive cases of Covid-19 were registered since the onset of the pandemic on January.
Dipatuan said while the BaSulTa has a total 127 suspected cases, none were tested positive for Covid-19.
“In the whole BARMM we have recorded a total of 235 suspected cases, but only 12 of these remain to be under strict monitoring and subject for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing,” Dipatuan said.
Recently, the two (2) PUI deaths in Sulu tested negative for Covid-19 according to the Sulu Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO).
“There are more municipalities in the region with no recorded case. Among these are some municipalities in Lanao del Sur and Marawi City. Out of its 40 municipalities, only the municipalities of Kapatagan, Balabagan, Malabang, Picong, Marawi City, Saguiaran, and Piagapo are the areas where suspected cases of Covid-19 are still present,” Dipatuan said.
“The same case with Maguindanao, not even ten (10) percent of its total number of municipalities are affected. The province has only one (1) positive and 19 suspected cases,” Dipatuan added.
However, despite these notable developments in the said BARMM areas, the Minister stressed that there is still no reason to be complacent.
“Hindi po tayo puwede mag-kumpiyansa dahil sa may mga suspicion na ang ibang mga kababayan natin, marami pong hindi nagsasabi ng totoo,” Dipatuan said.
Dipatuan underscored that those individuals who went to events with known Covid-19 cases, such as the Tabligh gathering in Malaysia and Araw ng Dabaw six-cock derby in Davao City, should not be afraid to seek help from the authorities.
“Nangangamba kami dahil maaaring mayroon pa tayong hindi nauulat na kaso diyan dahil sini-sikreto ng mga kamag-anak,” Dipatuan stated. “Dahil dito, kailangan talaga nating mag-take ng precautionary measures,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister Dipatuan acknowledged the efforts of the members of Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force (BARMM-IATF) in containing and preventing the further spread of the virus.
The change in number has been a positive fortification on the region’s IATF, which continuously executes its responsibilities, including relief good operations throughout its area of responsibility.
“Noong una talagang medyo natakot tayo na maaaring hindi ito ma-control, ngunit sa magandang pagkakataong nangyari, binigyan tayo nang pagmamahal ng ating mahal na Allah kaya nakikita natin kung paano ito bumababa ngayon,” he said.
“Sa totoo lamang po, very sharp at malaki ang ibinaba nito, ngunit hindi pa ito nawawala nang lubusan,” he added.
To date, a total of nine (9) Covid-19 confirmed cases are recorded in the autonomous region—eight (8) from the province of Lanao del Sur, and only one (1) from Maguindanao.
Of these, one (1) is admitted to the hospital, one (1) under home quarantine, four (4) recovered, and three (3) succumbed to the said virus. (Bureau of Public Information)