COVID-19 updates: MECQ extended in Davao, Mother of Samal mayor dies from COVID-19

Jun. 16, 2021

MECQ status remains in Davao City. Davao City will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until June 30, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday. Nine other areas in Mindanao are also placed under MECQ as COVID-19 cases have risen in Mindanao according to reports of the Department of Health. This includes Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga City, Butuan, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Island, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay.

11 other areas in Visayas and Luzon are also classified under MECQ, prompting Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to say this is “a record of sorts” with the most number of cities placed under MECQ.

Mom of Samal mayor dies from COVID-19. Tragedy struck the family of Samal Mayor Alan David Uy as his mother succumbed to COVID-19 last week while he was recuperating from the infection. In an interview with Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday, Uy said they were exposed to a family member who later tested positive from COVID-19.

The mayor said things turned so fast for him and his mother. “Sabay mi, ako mild, mama nako asymptomatic, pero mao lagi kalit lang nabali ba (We both got sick at the same time. I was mild, and my mom was asymptomatic. But the reversed happened all of a sudden).” Uy’s case turned to severe as he had to hospitalized. He was on his way to recovery when he heard the news of his mother. “Didto na nako nahibaw-an kadtong na-okay na, nakabalo ko na intubate sya, deretso deretso na (I heard the news when I was feeling okay. I heard she was intubated but things went so fast),” he said.

Uy said with this experience he advised his constituents to follow health protocols. “I don’t want them to undergo what I suffered, especially now that COVID is still raging…. we don’t know when this will end,” he said. He said the city’s COVID-19 facility is now in maximum capacity with nearly 100 active cases.

Samal and the rest of Davao del Norte province is placed under general community quarantine (GCQ). Samal’s beach resorts and restaurants, which draws income for the island city, is operating in limited capacity and need to obtain permit from the Department of Tourism.

CDO to bring new personnel for treatment facilities. City Mayor Oscar Moreno said he will bring “new blood” or more personnel that would better handle the COVID-19 treatment facilities amidst the surge in the city and in Misamis Oriental. The mayor is concerned of the need to quicken the transfer of patients who have been under home quarantine, as the city has added 87 hospital beds. He also pointed out the need to discharge “overstaying patients” in the facilities. He acknowledged that many health frontliners have been burned out for handling COVID patients for over 16 months. As of June 9, city health officials reported a drop of COVID patients under home quarantine from 309 to 226. The city health epidemiologist Dr. Teodulfo Joselito Retuya said they will no longer conduct follow-up swab tests on COVID-19 patients that are considered “clinically recovered” if they have no COVID-19 symptoms in about ten days after being quarantined.

Rufus blames vaccine head for slow vaccine rollout in Mindanao. CDO 1st District representative Rufus Rodriguez criticized the government’s task force for the slow rollout of vaccines in Mindanao. During a House committee meeting on Mindanao affairs last June 14, the congressman minced no words blaming the government’s vaccine czar, peace adviser and retired general Carlito Galvez, for what he said was lack of urgency amidst the surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Mindanao. Five cities in Mindanao have been placed under MECQ including CDO. Rodriguez said he will put fault in Galvez on the deaths of barangay chairpersons and members of his family. A government official said vaccine supply to the country was short in the past few weeks. Data from the Department of Health showed that 6,948,549 doses have been administered throughout the country as of June 13. That makes an average of 140,985 vaccinations in a day.

Tagum enforces protocols in checkpoints. Tagum City, the capital of Davao del Norte, has enforced a provincial order to impose age restrictions in border checkpoints that will not allow persons below 15 years old and above 65 years old to enter the city. Speaking in an interview over Disaster Radio on Monday, Tagum Mayor Allan Rellon said this is in compliance of protocols to keep youth and elderly safe from the latest surge of COVID-19. Rellon said the city is busy checking three boundaries: Panabo City, and Maco and Mawab from neighboring Davao de Oro province. Rellon said exemptions are given to frontliners and essential service workers, as well as private vehicles which he deemed are “extensions” of family who travel from one house to another. But he advised these passengers to refrain from stopping by at malls or restaurants. The city remains under GCQ, but dine-in for restaurants have been prohibited in the city.

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