Macuno: facemasks, social distancing still a must amid LSI influx

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Macuno: facemasks, social distancing still a must amid LSI influx

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A local health official on Wednesday reminded the public to continue wearing facemasks and observing social distancing measures amid the influx of locally stranded individuals (LSI) from various places including the virus-hit Cebu City and Metro Manila.  

“Ang social distancing dako g’yud kaayo siya tabang na dili ta matakdan. Bahala og moingon na ‘balik-balik mani, wa bay bag-o.’ Ang bag-o is nga magpadyon ta og observe ani kay nagkadaghan na man ang atong mga kaigsuonan na manguli,” said Dr. Mutya Macuno, medical chief of the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in an interview over station dyRD’s “Inyong Alagad program.”

Macuno’s statement came after the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) further eased travel restrictions for LSIs pushing the provincial government to no longer mandate the 14-day facility quarantine for them and open the option for them to undergo home quarantine instead.

In a memorandum issued Wednesday, Governor Art Yap said that local government units (LGU) may decide to whether place ROFs and LSIs of their town under 14-day quarantine in hotels, the LGU’s facilities, or their homes.

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According to Macuno, families with incoming LSIs who are not directed by their LGUs to undergo facility quarantine should prepare to “make sacrifices” and ready their homes to accommodate and quarantine them for at least two weeks while observing physical distancing inside the house.

Those who are likely to be more “vulnerable” to coronavirus disease (COVID) 2019 infection such as the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions should be separated from the arriving LSI.

“Pananglitan kung naa tay parinti na LSI and then moingon atong LGU na deretso na ni siya kay mao may mando sa DILG, adto na siya panimalay. Mao mag andam na ang panimalay na kung duna man gani silay member na vulnerable then ipalayo na siya,” she said.  

Members of the family, even those who are working, will not be allowed go out of their homes for at least two weeks when they have a returning LSI living with them as indicated in Yap’s memorandum.

In past two weeks, LSIs have started to arrive in large batches after the national government eased the requirements for them to travel to their home provinces.

They only need to secure a medical certificate from a government physician and a travel authority from the Philippine National Police.

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As of Wednesday morning, there are at least 700 LSIs who recently arrived in the province and “over a thousand” more could be arriving in the next weeks, said Dr. Yul Lopez, the TWG’s spokesperson.

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