The province of Bohol should again be placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) once a local transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus disease (COVID) 19 is detected.
Dr. Jeff Ong, president of the Bohol Medical Society (BMS), issued the statement on Tuesday, the same day a local teenage girl from Tubigon with no travel history tested positive in a COVID-19 rapid antibody test.
According to Ong, Bohol should avoid being like Singapore which became a COVID-19 hotspot after prematurely easing its movement restrictions.
The health sector leader highlighted Singapore as a precautionary tale that Bohol should heed as the province continues to enjoy less stringent quarantine measures.
“Ang Singapore sayo kaayo nila na-control ang COVID, bisa’g nasudlan sila dali ra nila na-control. Gi-relax nila gamay, unsay nahitabo? Daghan kaayong cases, naapsan nila ang Pilipinas within two weeks,” he said.
An ECQ would allow health workers and the government to quickly contain the spread of the disease if a local transmission erupts.
Ong said that enhanced movement restriction is among the BMS’ suggested protocols for the provincial government to follow in response to a local transmission of COVID-19.
An ECQ would once again lead to the shutdown of some services including public transportation which have already been permitted to operate after quarantine measures in the province relaxed this month.
“Ang goberno and medical society need the space nga makalihok pinaagi sa paglimit sa mga lihok sa taw,” he said.
Meanwhile, the public should still observe social distancing and other safety measures such as the wearing of facemasks.
“Everyone should do his part. Og naay taw na di magobserbar sa community quarantine badlungon g’yud,” Ong said. “For example nagpila ka didto sa supermarket, og naay taw na mo dutdot nimo, imo g’yud ng badlungon na ayaw duol.”
In April, Bohol was placed under ECQ which was later shifted to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting in May through an executive order issued by Governor Arthur Yap.
The national government after reevaluation of its nationwide quarantine measures last week confirmed that Bohol belongs to the category of localities that should be placed under GCQ instead of ECQ.
There is currently only one confirmed COVID-19 case in the province, a repatriated OFW who has been in isolation since his arrival in Bohol on April 27.
On Tuesady, a 17-year-old girl who is confined at a private hospital in Tagbilaran City tested positive in a COVID-19 rapid antibody test. Authorities however considered her only as a “probable” case pending the results of a polymerase chain reaction test.
If the girl is confirmed to be infected, it would be seen to indicate that there has already been a local transmission of the disease in the province considering that she had no travel history. (A. Doydora)