ORMOC CITY – Mayor Richard Gomez has ordered the lifting of his lockdown orders on Brgy. Boroc and Purok 7 in San Pablo, following receipt of the results from confirmatory tests of suspected patients that turned out negative.
In an announcement posted at the official Ormoc City COVID-19 Updates page in Facebook, the mayor said, “The confirmatory tests for the suspected Covid patients from Brgys. Boroc and San Pablo came out negative. Tests were also done to relatives that had close contact with them and also came out negative. We will have to continuously monitor these people and those that came in close contact with them. With these results, we can already dismantle and take down the controls at Brgys. Boroc and San Pablo, Purok 7. Thank you and God bless us!”
To recall, three small communities in Ormoc have been declared in lockdown after three residents tested positive for COVID-19 in rapid tests administered at a hospital here.
The latest to be locked down is Purok 10 or the Holy Wings in Brgy. Linao this Friday, May 1.
The San Lorenzo Village, Purok 7 in Brgy. San Pablo and Barangay Boroc, on the other hand, was ordered under a lockdown last Friday, April 25. This has already been lifted with the mayor’s announcement.
It was also learned that the patients from San Pablo and Boroc have recovered from their conditions, Dr. Edmund Kierulf said. Both were confined at the Ormoc City COVID-19 Isolation Center.
The patient from San Pablo, 66 years old, has been released on Saturday. He suffered from a heart ailment and to his misfortune, tested positive in the rapid test, resulting to his confinement.
Dr. Kierulf said there are several conditions that could result to a positive rapid test. That is why, a confirmatory RT-PCR test is needed to make sure if the patient really has the dreaded COVID-19.
Residents have been waiting for the result of the confirmatory tests, which were sent to Cebu by the Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (RESU), especially those affected by the lockdowns. Residents were jubilant and expressed their thanks for lifting the lockdowns.
Meanwhile, the lockdown in Purok 10 of Brgy. Linao remains.
On the other hand, the DOH-Eastern Visayas Center for Health Development said that as of May 2, 2020, “we still have a total of 13 confirmed cases in the region.”
The release said 4 have already recovered while 9 are currently confined. 4 of the 9 are in the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center because they belong to the vulnerable group and have comorbidities.
Dr. Minerva Molon, EV regional director, said that while Eastern Visayas now is under General Community Quarantine, “this does not mean we will go back to what we were used to do before the outbreak.”
She urged everybody to continue wearing masks, even do-it-yourself masks. She added, “preserve the supply of medical masks or N-95 respirators for those who need it the most – health care workers, frontliners, and people with COVID-19 symptoms.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Gomez has issued another Executive Order extending the community quarantine of the whole of Ormoc up to May 30, and expanded the businesses allowed to open already.
Malls in Ormoc will start operating. A tenant of Robinsons Place-Ormoc said they already got a message from the mall management saying that whether they open or not, they will now start paying 50% of their monthly rental.
Beauty parlors are already allowed to operate, albeit with strict social distancing measures. A salon owner told EV Mail that they already opened on Saturday, May 2, but there were no customers who came. They are paying Php 25,000.00 a month on the space they are renting, and wonder where they can recoup this. They have been surviving on home appointments, the beautician said.
Starting May 4, Monday, Quarantine Passes (QP) will be given to each family. Only two members are allowed to go out at one time, if they are not working. Those who are working can use their company IDs but not on weekends for supply runs. The COVID-19 Task Force said that QP should be used. This is to minimize the number of people out of their homes, to minimize the chances of COVID-19 infection.
Ormoc is still COVID-19 free. Mayor Gomez said that to make Ormoc stay this way, residents should continue staying at home when there is no need for them to get out, use masks and practice social distancing. “This is the new normal. This is our reality now, we have to learn to adapt,” Gomez said.