Davao De Oro Shelters Bus Passengers From Manila, Leyte

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Davao de Oro:  A total of 33 passengers onboard a Philtranco bus based in Pasay City, Metro Manila, including a pregnant woman and a one-year old child, are now housed in a Davao de Oro Farm Training Center in Monkayo, after being held at the checkpoint of the said town.

According to the report from the Davao de Oro Emergency Operation Center (DDO EOC), the bus with body number 1895 left Pasay City on March 16, 2020 with 27 passengers, including the driver and the crew. Some ten more passengers boarded the bus in Sogod Leyte after their release from medical checkup by the Leyte COVID Task Force.

The report also noted that two passengers unloaded in Bayugan, and another three in San Francisco; both towns are located in the province of Agusan del Sur.

The bus reached the checkpoint in Barangay Pasian, Monkayo at around 10:00PM of March 21, 2020 but was held due to the restriction stipulated in Order No. 2020-001-A of the Davao Region COVID-19 Task Force (RTF11-COVID19). The order states that no person or vehicle shall be allowed to enter Davao Region except vehicles with cargo and one driver with no assistants/passengers starting March 19 to April 1, 2020.

Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy said that the bus and its passengers were supposed to be barred from entering the region, but after assessing and contemplating on the situation, he allowed the passengers to be sheltered in the center for 14 days.

“This will only be allowed once; again only once, and no more than that; because as a father, I could not bare to see an innocent one-year old child travel back to their origin at this time of distress,” Governor Uy stressed.

The chief executive said that the provincial and municipal government units will provide all the needs of the passengers, including that of the baby like milk supplements and diaper.

Earlier, the local government unit of Monkayo distributed dinner and breakfast to the passengers; meanwhile, a team from Kusina ng Kalinga will be deployed to the facility to take care of the meals of the passengers for the 14 days.

DDO EOC and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Antonio Ybiernas Jr. also highlighted that LGU Monkayo also gave out hygiene kits, pillows and blankets.

“We also asked the assistance of the Bureau of Fire and Protection for the water supply, and the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Civil Security Unit for security,” he said.

Ybiernas also noted that tents from the Red Cross are also being used to house the passengers.

“All female passengers utilize the rooms in the center, while the couples and the male passengers are being billeted in the tents,” he said.

Dr. Ybiernas also disclosed that all the passengers will be treated as persons under monitoring (PUM), except for the driver and one passenger, who have cough and will be considered as persons under investigation (PUI).

“The two PUIs with no co-morbidities are placed in separate rooms in the same training center,” he said.

He also emphasized that regular health assessment of the passengers will be done to ensure their condition, and an ambulance is on standby whenever it is needed.

Earlier, the bus was disinfected, as well as the passengers’ luggage before those were brought to the respective rooms.

The health officer also oriented earlier the passengers and the workers of the training center on the necessary and relevant protocols to follow, including the social distancing. (PIA11, Michael Uy)

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