Cebu now under state of preparedness over novel coronavirus threat
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signed an executive order Tuesday, February 4, placing this province under a state of preparedness because of the threat of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and designating 4 public facilities to be used as quarantine areas.
As part of this levelled up preparation the provincial government has identified the Eversly Child Sanitarium in Consolacion, Cebu, as the primary public facility where all Filipinos coming from mainland China and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau will be committed to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Aside from Eversly, the other quarantine facilities tapped by the provincial government are the Mandaue General Hospital, the New Life Facility in Pinamungajan town, and the Women and Children Development Center in Lahug, Cebu CIty. All in all, the 3 facilities could handle up to 250 people.
These facilities were set up when Cebu was planning to quarantine all passengers coming in from mainland China, even before President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a travel ban last week.
Also an author of Garcia's resolution was 4th District Provincial Board Member Kerrie Shimura, the Chairperson of the Committee on Health and Social Services.
“There is a clear and present danger of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus entering Cebu that warrants an immediate need for the implementation of measures to prevent its entry while establishing protocols for the quarantine of infected individuals in case entry;” the resolution read.
The declaration empowered local government Disaster Risk Reduction Management offices to take actions to minimize the adverse effects of a recognized danger.
At least 4 of the 31 patients under investigation by the Department of Health for the coronavirus are from the Central Visayas.
The Cebu provincial government is also preparing protocols for home quarantine for arriving Filipinos. The process for home quarantine was still being discussed with the local government units and Philippine National Police.
"We have not established the protocols on homestay, we will have to bring them directly straight to the Eversely facility," Garcia said.
"Right now, we need to know where are their homes… we need to identify what times these are so that the mayors themselves will also be on board including the barangay kapitan," she added.
The first death due to the coronavirus outside of China happened in the Philippines. The tourist came from Wuhan City to the Philippines via Dumaguete and Cebu. The Epidemiology Bureau of the DOH has found a total of 74 contacts the couple interacted with in Cebu and Dumaguete
As of Tuesday, February 4, the DOH was looking into 80 people for 2019-nCoV. This includes 2 confirmed cases and 68 others who were still confined in hospitals, while 10 who have been discharged but are still being monitored. Of these, 48 samples are awaiting confirmation for the 2019-nCoV, while 30 have tested negative.– Rappler.com