Duterte to LGUs: Help, don’t deny COVID patients
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - May 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Saying no one should be left behind, President Duterte has called on mayors to provide assistance to their constituents or anyone infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in their area even as he offered to shoulder their hospital bills.

“Help anyone... Filipinos, foreigners who are in your place and who go to you... to seek help,” the President said in his public address on Thursday night.

“That is really an order of the national government to local governments. Help, do not deny. You must expedite the hospitalization until he is cured. No problem about payment. I will pay. Just bill me and I will pay,” he added.

The President said he has no quarrel with local government officials, citing Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez who expressed concern over the lack of coordination on the return of stranded residents.

Duterte stressed that residents, especially overseas Filipino workers, (OFWs) should be allowed to return to their homes.

”Kawawa naman kasi... They have a constitutional right. There’s really no reason why you should not accept them with open arms,” the President said.

OFW infected

Meanwhile, an OFW who returned to Hilongos, Leyte under the Balik Probinsya program tested positive for COVID-19, results released yesterday showed.

The OFW, 31, who worked in a cruise ship, arrived in the province on Monday.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the OFW is asymptomatic, adding that contact tracing in coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is ongoing.

There are now three beneficiaries of the government’s Balik Probinsya program in Leyte who tested positive for the virus.

A 28-year-old and a 26-year-old, both male, are the first COVID-19 cases recorded in Baybay City and Tanauan town.

Four other new cases were reported in Eastern Visayas, all of them residents of Tarangnan, Samar. The patients are a 12-year-old girl, a 26-year-old male, a 59-year-old female and an eight-year-old boy. Lalaine Jimenea

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