Cotabato City (May 14, 2020)—As part of its measures to prevent second wave of Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19), the Bangsamoro Government, in close coordination with its local government units, has set up more quarantine facilities across Bangsamoro region for the returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
“Alam natin na more or less controlled na ‘yong paglaganap ng Covid-19 sa Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), ngunit ang pinapangamba natin ay ‘yung pag-uwi ng ating mga OFWs,” Health Minister Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan said Wednesday, May 15.[More or less, we were able to control the spread of Covid-19 in BARMM, but what we fear is the homecoming of our OFWs.]
He said, “we are anxious that the OFWs might be carriers of the coronavirus, and that they may spread the virus in their areas.”
For this reason, Dipatuan said the Bangsamoro Government continues to establish Covid-19 isolation facilities across the Bangsamoro region. To date, a total of 90 quarantine facilities are now available across BARMM.
To mention some, the Provincial Government of Basilan has recently converted their old capitol building and the Sumisip District Hospital as quarantine facilities, according to Dipatuan.
Sibakel Island, a remote island in Basilan province, has also served as a quarantine area for hundreds of repatriate Filipinos who sailed from Malaysia.
Dipatuan also mentioned that the 100-bed capacity isolation facility constructed by the Bangsamoro Government in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao is almost finished. He said the provincial government of Maguindanao has also recently reopened the Parang District Hospital to serve as one of the isolation facilities in the province.
“Pati rin po sa probinsiya ng Sulu at Tawi-Tawi, marami din po silang sinet-up na mga quarantine facilities. So hindi po tayo nagkukulang ng isolation facilities para sa mga kababayan nating uuwi,” said Dipatuan.[The provincial governments of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi have also set-up several quarantine facilities. So, we do not lack isolation facilities for our homecoming citizens.]
Since the declaration of public health emergency in the country, the BARMM has only recorded a total of eleven (11) Covid-confirmed cases.
The BARMM remains to be placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
In spite of this, Dipatuan said the public must still continue to practice minimum health standards, such as maintaining proper hygiene, wearing face masks, strengthening immune system, avoiding crowded places, among others. (Bureau of Public Information)