Lanao del Sur, Basilan impose tighter measures amid coronavirus fears
Travellers wearing protective face masks walk past a travel health advisory sign upon arrival at the international airport in Manila on February 5, 2020. A 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan died on February 2 at a government hospital in Manila and appears to have been infected with the SARS-like virus before arriving in the Philippines according to the Department of Health.
AFP/Romeo Gacad

Lanao del Sur, Basilan impose tighter measures amid coronavirus fears

John Unson (Philstar.com) - February 15, 2020 - 2:50pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The provincial governments in Lanao del Sur and Basilan have imposed tighter measures versus the 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID-19. 

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. said Saturday his office, their league of barangay captains, the Integrated Provincial Health Office and the Bangsamoro local government and health agencies are jointly guarding the province from COVID-19. 

The office of lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, local government minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, has jurisdiction over the regional government’s emergency and disaster response contingent that also helps monitor the health situation in Lanao del Sur and other BARMM provinces.

Besides Lanao del Sur, the Bangsamoro region also covers Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.

Physician Allen Minalang, chief of the Lanao del Sur IPHO, said health offices in all 39 towns in the province are upbeat in providing them reports on daily admissions of patients.

“We also relay the reports immediately to the office of the provincial governor,” Minalang said.

No one so far has been admitted in any private or government hospital in BARMM for signs of COVID-19 infection since the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan, China.

Lanao del Sur also covers Marawi City that has more than 90 barangays and where hundreds of families are still in designated relief sites as a consequence of the May 23 to Oct. 16, 2017 siege by the Dawlah Islamiya terror group led by the brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute.

“Everything is being done to secure these communities from the 2019-nCoV ARD," Adiong said.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman said Saturday he cancelled their provincial Pakaradjaan Festival next month as part of their anti-COVID-19 precaution.

The yearly Pakaradjaan event, capped off with cultural activities and showcases of traditional crafts, brings together thousands of people from across the island province of Basilan, from the Zamboanga peninsula and other southern regions.

Salliman said they have also been observing the daily entry to Basilan of people arriving by sea vessels from Zamboanga City, the port capital of Region 9.

The local government unit of Lamitan City, capital of Basilan, has reportedly procured medical instruments needed for detection of incoming boat passengers with fever and signs of flu.

The provisions have reportedly been turned over to the ports management office in Lamitan City, now enforcing anti-COVID-19 efforts along with the Lamitan City health office and the Basilan provincial government. 

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