Cotabato City (June 24, 2020) – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported a total of 100 Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) confirmed cases in the region as of June 23, 2020.
Of the 100 cases, 52 are active, with 44 recoveries and 4 deaths.
Lanao del Sur province records 70 cases, 21 in Maguindanao, 6 in Basilan, 3 in Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi remains to be Covid-free.
Health Minister Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan emphasized that to date, there is no recorded local transmission in the region, adding that the “rise in numbers is due to returning BARMM residents classified into Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI), Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF) and those availing of the Hatid Probinsya Program.”
In his privilege speech during the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s session on Tuesday, Dipatuan recalled that as early as January 13, 2020, BARMM has heightened its alert and advisories to the general public. This included continuous advisories on staying home, maintaining proper hygiene, and boosting the immune system to prevent infection by the virus.
Dipatuan said that back in March, MOH already activated its Emergency Operation center for COVID-19 in all health facilities all over BARMM, and has identified designated hospitals for severe Persons Under Investigation and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“Further, we are continuously providing technical assistance to all of BARMM’s Provincial and City Epidemiology and Surveillance Units. This entails assistance in the collection, transportation of specimens, and completion of COVID-19 reporting forms. This also includes contact tracing activities in relation to all confirmed cases,” Dipatuan said.
“We are all aware of the burden of COVID-19 in our health service delivery, we addressed this by allocating financial support to health offices in BARMM,” Dipatuan stated.
Dipatuan said the health ministry has given Php50,000.00 to each of the 7 Surveillance Units in BARMM; Php2,000,000.00 to each of the 5 Provincial Health Offices in BARMM; Php500,000.00 to each of the 2 City Health Offices in BARMM; Php500,000.00 to each of the 25 hospitals under BARMM; and Php1,000,000.00 to the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur as augmentation fund for the COVID Isolation Facility in Sagonsongan, Marawi City.
In addition, MOH has also distributed RT-PCR kits to its referral hospitals, provincial health offices, and city health offices.
“The allocation of 20,000.00 Php for Rural Health Units will be continued beyond this pandemic, and they shall receive it on a monthly basis. The rationale behind this is the fact that RHUS are the primary caregivers and responders in the grassroots level. Thus, we deem it just, and morally sound that they receive this financial assistance,” Dipatuan said.
To ensure the safety and comfort of to-be quarantined or isolated individuals, Dipatuan said MOH has done successive site visits to the various isolation facilities in the mainland provinces – Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. Meanwhile, due to the implemented lockdowns in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, the MOH has relied on the reports from the Provincial Health Officers in the said areas.
MOH has also deployed health workers to Sibakil Island in Lantawan, Basilan to closely monitor, and attend to the health needs of the deportees from Sabah, Malaysia who are isolated in the island.
Dipatuan said the MOH has spent an estimated amount of Php14-million for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), medical supplies and disinfectants which were distributed to all health facilities in the region, as well as to various ministries and agencies in the BARMM. (Bureau of Public Information)