Wednesday Aug, 05 2020 01:40:34 AM

499 Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi residents from Manila now safe in Maguindanao

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 11:00 AM Fri Jul 10, 2020
John M. Unson
The 499 Bangsamoro residents from Manila are now in an isolation facility in Maguindanao. (Contributed)

COTABATO CITY --- The 499 Bangsamoro residents stranded in Metro Manila possibly mistakenly ferried to Cagayan de Oro City are now in an isolation facility in Maguindanao province.

The locally-stranded individuals, or LSIs, returning to Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi arrived midnight Thursday at the compound of the Sanitarium Hospital in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao where the newly-constructed COVID-19 hospital of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is located.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM’s local government minister, said Friday all of the LSIs brought to Sultan Kudarat town by 17 chartered buses from Cagayan de Oro City shall be subjected to COVID-19 screening in keeping with state coronavirus containment protocols.

“There are teams at the isolation facility providing them food and needed medical care,” Sinarimbo said.  

The 499 LSIs, 301 of them from Basilan, arrived on board a 2Go vessel Tuesday at Cagayan de Oro, more than 10 hours away via overland travel to Zamboanga City, most strategic nearest point of entry to BARMM’s nearby Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces.

Sinarimbo, who is overseeing BARMM’s Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, or the quick deployment READI contingent, the travel by from Manila to Cagayan de Oro City, which is to faraway from Zamboanga City, was facilitated without prior coordination with the Bangsamoro government.

The provincial governments of Lanao del Sur and Basilan and the office of House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman supplied the LSIs with food, water and other relief provisions while in a public gymnasium in Cagayan de Oro.

The newly-built multi-million COVID-19 building inside the compound of the Sanitarium Hospital is operating under the joint supervision of physician Ibrahim Pangato and officials of BARMM’s health ministry.

Sinarimbo said the Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City, promised Wednesday to provide a Navy watercraft to transport to the island provinces the LSIs who would test negative to COVID-19.

“They shall all be tested. Those who are not infected shall be returned to their island provinces with the help of WestMinCom and those who would test positive shall be confined at our isolation facility for treatment,” Sinarimbo said.


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