NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Ubay Mayor Costan Reyes said the town is offering P5,000 to those who can report to authorities for each illegal entry or intruder arrested to its shores to prevent his people of 44 barangays from being infected of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19).
He said in an exclusive interview that he came up with bounty considering that this town is vulnerable and the proximity of Leyte provinces where the intrusion is inevitable.
This is also in accordance with the No sail polity and the watchful effort of the composite team composed of the Philippine Coast Guard, PNP, Maritime Police, barangay and municipal officials.
He’s happy to announce that this town remains a COVID-free and so with the province as far as local infection is concerned.
And he urged his townmates not to let their guards down, reminding them to always observe health protocols, such as always wearing of masks, social distancing, curfew hours and others as the entire province is now placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status.
As part of the readiness in the event of worst-case scenario, Reyes said that the town has conducted on Friday a simulation exercise (SIMEX).
Along with him is DOTr Undersec. Art Evangelista as consultant/adviser who personally oversees the performance of personnel involved, police officers, health workers, municipal disaster risk reduction office and other participants with the presence of TARSIER 117 workers to observe the exercises.
A scenario was presented as part of the exercise, wherein two LSIs from barangay Casate and Tapon were reported to have shown some symptoms. They’re immediately subjected to swab tests whose specimens were sent to Cebu City.
Also part of the preparation is the P36 million isolation facility complete with amenities, such as room accommodation, gen set, toilets and other, including 24/7 guards in case some landed here for mandatory 14-day quarantine for Ubay residents who may be local stranded individuals (LSIs).
According to World Health Organization (WHO), “Simulation exercises have been identified as a key component in the validation of core capacities under the IHR monitoring and evaluation framework (2016)1, which was noted by the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly2. Simulation exercises, along with After Action Reviews (AAR), represent the functional assessment of capacities and complement the self-assessments (Annual Reporting), independent reviews, and external evaluations (Joint External Evaluation (JEE)). They play a key role in identifying the strengths and gaps in the development and implementation of preparedness and response measures.”
“A simulation exercise is a form of practice, training, monitoring or evaluation of capabilities involving the description or simulation of an emergency, to which a described or simulated response is made.”
“Simulation exercises enable people to practice their roles and functions and can help to develop, assess and test functional capabilities of emergency systems, procedures and mechanisms to respond to the outbreak and public health emergencies. They are used to identify gaps and enhance preparedness capacity for response before an actual emergency occurs.” (rvo)