A Maranaw overseas worker undergoes screening as requisite for re-entry to Lanao del Sur.
Philstar.com/John Unson
Lanao del Sur acquires more anti-COVID-19 equipment
John Unson (Philstar.com) - June 6, 2020 - 1:06pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Lanao del Sur province has 11 new ambulances to complement domestic COVID-19 containment efforts, officials said Saturday.

Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. said the ambulances were procured by the office of the congressional representative in the first district of the province.

The office of Rep. Ansaruddin Adiong turned over the 11 ambulances to the provincial government last week.

Adiong, also presiding chairperson of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, said the 11 ambulances will boost their war on coronavirus.

He said their focus now is on the return to the province of constituents stranded outside by the nationwide COVID-19 quarantine the national government imposed in March.

Physician Allen Minalang, chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said the 11 new ambulances were turned over to the province while they are preparing for the influx of residents from outside who are to be screened first for COVID-19.

“The turnover of the 11 ambulances to the provincial government was timely enough,” Minalang said.

The provincial government’s PDRRMC and the IPHO jointly facilitated last week the return to Lanao del Sur of nine overseas contract workers, all quarantined in Metro Manila prior to their travel to the province by boat via Cagayan de Oro City.

All nine Maranaws employed in different countries have been turned over to the local government units in their hometowns.

“The reception and transport process went well, based on government regulations,” Adiong said.

Lanao del Sur is under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao whose regional government has just procured 10 respiration ventilators for distribution to designated COVID-19 treatment centers.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, local government minister of BARMM, said Saturday the ventilators are still in Manila, now ready for shipment to the Bangsamoro capitol in Cotabato City.

Commercial planes cannot transport such medical equipment from Metro Manila to anywhere in the country without shipment clearance from the national government, according to regional health officials.

BARMM’s Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, or READI, operating under Sinarimbo’s supervision, facilitated Friday a stringent reception process for more than a hundred constituents, among them students from Manila, transported to the Maguindanao airport by an aircraft chartered by the Bangsamoro government.

Sinarimbo said the returning BARMM residents, some of them from Basilan and other island areas, have all been examined by medical personnel before they were allowed to travel back home.

“The BARMM is doing its best to ensure that returning residents are processed according to procedures set by the national government,” he said.

2019 N-COV
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