Guimaras Provincial Governor reveals secret of Covid-19 zero incidence

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ILOILO CITY—Governor Dr. Samuel Gumarin appeared no signs of Covid-19 related stress that most local chief executives showed, during his live TV interview at the PTV 4’s Laging Handa Forum Friday, and monitored by Sandigan News and Banat Pilipinas News.

The province of Guimaras is part of Region 6 and is one of the few Covid-19 free provinces in the country.  It is globally well known for sweet mango and rich natural resources. 

After this Covid-19 pandemic, the provincial government may be a good subject of further research for best practices in managing emerging infectious diseases in an island setting despite their limited resources and facilities.

Guimaras is a flourishing agricultural, fishing and tourism province, which is composed of five municipalities, with an estimated population of 40,000 families and with only Level 1 health facilities.  Aside from the nearby Iloilo City, Guimaras has become a popular tourist destination in the region.

“Maliit lang kami kaya medyo madali naming na-manage ang pag-spread ng virus ngunit mas nauna kaming gumawa ng preventive measures upang hindi makapasok ang virus,” Gov. Gumarin who is also a medical doctor said.  He concurred that their knowledge of the disease and their background in medicine helped them in containing the virus.

“Halos lahat na mga official namin ay mga medical practitioners.  Si former governor namin at ngayon House Representative JC Rahman Nava ay expert ng tropical medicine.  Mga mayor at bise-mayor ay may medical background kaya naunawaan namin ang galaw ng sakit na ito kaya’t napaghandaan namin kung ano ang gawin,” Gov. Gumarin said.

After the Department of Health (DOH) announced the first Covid-19 positive patient in the country in January 30, the provincial government had started creating a structure to manage the disease even if it was not yet immediately forthcoming in the province. They also devised their own General Response Plan for Covid-19 using the standard medical practice of the DOH. 

“Nag-umpisa kami sa pagtatag ng Covid-19 Executive Committee na kasapi ang lahat ng mayor sa aming probinsya,” Gov. Gumarin said. He continued that there are three levels of their general response:  Level 1 is the Lockdown of the island province from the rest of the region, Level 2 is the Enhanced Community Quarantine, and Level 3 is the Boarder Control.

He said that the first level was in cooperation with Iloilo City government, which also tightened their grip of commuters going to Guimaras island through their city.

“At dahil Level 1 lang ang mga ospital namin, gumawa kami ng ‘Covid Dropping Points’ isa itong contained area kung saan dadaan ang lahat na pumasok sa probinsya at mga munisipyo.  May ganuon ding facility ang mga ospital na bago makapasok ang pasyente o sino man sa ospital ay dumaan muna nito upang hindi mahawa ang mga medical frontliners at mga doktor namin,” he said in closing.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.