The head of Boracay Environment Management Unit (BEMU) was tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus disease.
In an official statement released by the Environmental Management Bureau only this afternoon, swab samples obtained and collected by the Ciriaco Tirol Hospital from the said EMB personnel on August 19, 2020 and which was immediately sent to the Western Visayas Medical Center Sub-National Laboratory for RT-PCR testing, came back positive for the virus.
Fortunately, even with the more conclusive test results not yet in, the staff of the Environment Bureau was already held in an isolation room in their office located in Sitio Bantud, Brgy. Manoc-manoc since August 14, or right after a rapid test showed him negative of COVID.
The patient is reportedly now in strict facility quarantine and is considered asymptomatic.
Reports also said that those who came in direct contact with the COVID-positive personnel were immediately locked down inside the BEMU building and were also placed under strict quarantine procedures since August 13.
Meanwhile, based on DOH Circular No. 202-0315 dated August 4, 2020, entitled “Reiteration in the Recovery Criteria and Monitoring and Clearance of Recovered Patients by the Local Health Offices,” clearly stated is that the recovery criteria for confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Department Memorandum 2020-0258 entitled Updated Guidelines in Expanded Testing for COVID-19, to wit: “Discharge and recovery criteria for suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases shall no longer entail repeat testing.”
It further states that “symptomatic who have clinically recovered and are no longer symptomatic for at least 3 days and have completed at least 14 days of isolation either at home, temporary treatment and monitoring facility, or hospital, can be tagged as a recovered confirmed case and reintegrated to the community without the need for further testing, provided that a medical doctor clears the patient. Patients who test RT-PCR positive and remain asymptomatic for at least 14 days can discontinue quarantine and tagged as a recovered confirmed case without need for further testing, provided a licensed medical doctor clears the patient.”
The BEMU head, whose positive test result was received only yesterday but who has remained asymptomatic and deemed clinically recovered after serving a 14-day quarantine, is now awaiting clearance from the doctors either tomorrow or the day after together with 10 other personnel of the Bureau who remained asymptomatic inside the entire duration of the quarantine period.
Further, the statement, signed by EMB Regional Director Atty. Ramar Niel V. Pascua, reiterated that “the health and safety of our people, our clients and the community is our highest priority, and our immediate response has been to take all necessary actions to manage the situation.”