BUTUAN CITY, April 12 (PIA) -- At least 41 areas across Caraga region have been identified by the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga with cases of local transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
As of Wednesday, April 7, Surigao del Sur tops the list of areas with recorded local transmission cases, with 12 out of 17 of its municipalities (Barobo, Cantilan, Carmen, Carrascal, Hinatuan, Lanuza, Lianga, Lingig, Madrid, Marihatag, Tagbina, and Tago) and its two component cities, Bislig and Tandag, affected.
Agusan del Sur follows the list, with eight municipalities (Bunawan, Loreto, Rosario, San Fransisco, San Luis, Sta. Josefa, Talacogon, and Trento) and the city of Bayugan grappling with the impact of the local transmission of COVID-19.
Seven municipalities of Agusan del Norte (Buenavista, Carmen, Jabonga, Kitcharao, Magallanes, Nasipit, and Tubay) were not able to prevent the transmission, affecting especially its capital city, Cabadbaran.
Despite the strict implementation of community quarantine and travel protocols, four municipalities in the Surigao del Norte (Alegria, Bacuag, Claver, and Placer) as well the municipalities of Dapa, San Isidro, and Socorro in the Siargao Islands were unable to preempt the transmission of the fatal virus locally despite being geographically-isolated from the mainland.
This was also the case of the municipality of Loreto in the Province of Dinagat Islands, with its point of entry in San Jose town located 26 kilometers away from Surigao City.
While strict implementation of travel protocols is still in place in some provinces coupled with an intensified enforcement of minimum health standards across Caraga region, DOH Caraga predicts that local transmission may reach areas with zero local transmission cases in the incoming months.
"An influx of returning residents is anticipated in the summer season so we can expect cases to rise during that time period," said Dr. Dioharra Aparri of the Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of DOH Caraga during the 29th Regional Task Force against COVID-19 (RTF COVID-19) Meeting on Thursday, April 8.
As prevention, coordination and close monitoring are still being done by government agencies and local government units handling returning overseas Filipino workers (ROFs), returning residents, and local tourists.
The Province of Dinagat Islands requiring incoming travelers to contact the local government unit of their destination and prepare health declaration forms while a negative RT-PCR test result is required for all those entering the province of Surigao del Norte via sea or air travel while those traveling via land are to adhere to the travel protocols set by the LGUs.
The province has also issued an order on Tuesday, April 6, prohibiting the entry of those coming from Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal except residents of the province, government Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) on a special mission, and private APOR with urgent transactions in the province. (DMNR/PIACaraga)