Preparations are in place as the local government of Tacurong City is about to welcome residents listed as locally stranded individuals (LSIs) via buses that traveled by land from Metro Manila.
This came about as Tacurong City Mayor Angelo Montilla confirmed one of the returning female residents recently tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Montilla said she is a 45-year old returning overseas Filipino (ROF) who arrived in the city on June 25. Upon arrival, she was directly brought to an isolation facility and is now in stable condition.
The Tacurong City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (CESU) is assuring the public that the patient has “no physical contact with her other family members and that precautionary measures and health protocols were followed in handling the patient”.
Tacurong currently has a total of seven confirmed cases, one of whom has fully recovered. On Sunday, the city hosted a regional inter-agency meeting to iron out the preparations needed in the scheduled arrival of more than 600 LSI from Manila.
This is on the heels of President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching order of transporting LSIs back to their home provinces under the “Hatid Tulong” program.
The LSIs expected to arrive Tuesday (July 7) or Wednesday (July 8) are residents of various provinces and cities in Region 12 who were stranded in Manila during the duration of the lockdown.
Officials from the Presidential Management Staff, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and local officials have agreed that the old provincial Capitol of Sultan Kudarat in Isulan town will be the drop-off point for hundreds of LSIs aboard 28 buses that left Manila last week.
“Once the buses arrive, the LSIs will transfer to vehicles of their respective LGUs to be transported straight to their home provinces,” the CESU said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Montilla said another isolation facility is being constructed in Barangay Upper Katungal in Tacurong City for returning LSIs who test positive for the virus.
Montilla said the 28-room facility will accommodate the increasing number of LSIs and ROFs coming home to Tacurong City, adding the PHP3.5-million project is expected to be completed and operational in the first week of September 2020.
“Right now, we have one existing facility and eight other accommodation establishments partnering with us to provide quarantine areas for our “kasimanwas” (townmates),” Montilla said. (PNA)