SBMA keeps protocols despite absence of new virus cases


SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Authorities here will keep on enforcing health safety protocols in this free port, even when there is no longer any active Covid-19 case among residents, transient workers and employees of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

SBMA Chairman Wilma T. Eisma said that while Subic is already Covid-free, Subic stakeholders and visitors should not get careless and should still wear mask, avoid crowded places, maintain physical distancing, and disinfect.

The Subic agency announced on Monday that the latest active Covid cases in the free port consisting of

five residents and three SBMA employees were all declared as recovered by the SBMA Public Health and Safety Department (SBMA-PHSD) after quarantine and treatment.

Eisma said this was the first time Subic became Covid-free since recording the first positive cases in July last year. “But still this does not mean we can already relax our guard against the virus,” she insisted. “We cannot afford another surge.”

“Remember that we are easing restrictions not because Covid-19 is gone, but because we have to sustain the economy, which has been badly affected by the pandemic,” she pointed out.

Eisma said that after Subic was placed by the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Alert Level 2 status, the SBMA relaxed entry to the free port and did not require any test at the border for those visiting Subic.

The SBMA also allowed children 14 years old and below to enjoy parks and other open spaces, as well as al fresco dining restaurants here, while seniors 65 years old and above were allowed in malls, shops and other enclosed spaces when fully-vaccinated, she added.

The latest SBMA announcement posted on Monday indicated that the last reported Covid case among Subic Freeport residents was on October 20 and among transient workers and guests in the free port on September 25. Meanwhile, the latest case among SBMA employees was recorded on October 21.

The announcement also showed a total of 275 confirmed cases among free port residents, with 271 recoveries or 98.55 percent and four deaths (1.45 percent); and 128 confirmed cases among transients, with 124 recoveries (96.8 percent), one death and three relocated cases.

Meanwhile, cases among SBMA employees, which were actually counted in their respective places of residence but reported by SBMA for transparency, indicated 197 confirmed cases, with 190 recoveries (96.45 percent) and seven deaths (3.55 percent).

Aside from maintaining health safety protocols in the Freeport, the SBMA also urged residents and workers to get vaccinated in order to further reduce Covid-19 infections.

Eisma said that as of November 5, 93 percent of the 2,237 SBMA employees are already either fully vaccinated or had their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and only seven percent have yet to receive anti-Covid shots.

She said the SBMA is now arranging with the Department of Health (DOH) to allow walk-ins under the DOH-SBMA vaccine rollout so that more Freeport residents and workers could be inoculated.

“Vaccination is our way out of this pandemic, but let us not be choosy about the vaccine brand,” Eisma also reminded stakeholders here.

“As experts say, the best vaccine is the one you get into your arm, and we owe it to ourselves and our community to get vaccinated so that we can help protect each other, begin reviving our economy and start moving on under the new normal,” she added.

Image courtesy of SBMA

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