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BARMM health minister, 3 employees recover from Covid-19

MARAWI CITY, Sep. 17 (PIA) — Three (3) out of the 38 employees of Bangsamoro Government’s Office of the Chief Minister (OCM-BARMM) who were tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have recovered.

Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) spokesperson Mohd Asnin Pendatun said Wednesday, September 16, via virtual press briefer, that the remaining 35 COVID-positive employees are currently in stable condition, and are undergoing strict quarantine in an isolation center in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

He also said that the Bangsamoro Government ensured families of affected employees were assisted.

Meanwhile, Bangsamoro Health Minister Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan also recovered from Covid-19.

In his official statement, Dipatuan said that he and his wife have been in the hospital for the past two weeks for isolation and treatment after testing positive for Covid-19. “We have already surpassed that challenge and are now fully recovered.”

The said development is also due to the fast response of the Bangsamoro Government since news broke about an employee who tested positive for Covid-19 late August.

This includes massive RT-PCR testing for its employees on September 3-4, 2020, as well as two-week disinfection inside the Bangsamoro Government Center in Cotabato City.

With this, the OCM has resumed its operation and transactions with work shifting schedules for its employees. However, visitors are reminded to strictly follow public health standards, or they will be denied entry.

“We advise our constituents to stay at home, unless it’s for essential or important matters,” Pendatun stated.

“The OCM is asking our visitors to secure an appointment for their transactions. Since most of the visits are related to the AMBAG Program, we will answer transactions via online and phone,” he added.

According to Pendatun, the first case in the OCM is not conclusively the reason for the sudden rise in the number of the affected employees for the reason that said the patient had no recent travel history nor any visit to a place with known local transmission.

“We cannot conclusively trace that the first case was the reason why other OCM employees tested positive for Covid-19. However, we should always look at the health and recovery of our employees and our fast response through our containment strategy,” Pendatun noted.

Furthermore, Pendatun noted that 53% of the total cases in the BARMM are Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs), while the rest are Returning Overseas Filipinos (3%) and through other transmissions (44%).

As of September 15, 2020, BARMM has recorded eight (8) new Covid-19 cases, 215 active cases, 806 total cases, and 26 deaths. The new cases included five (5) from Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, two (2) from Basilan, and one (1) from Tawi-Tawi. (BPI/PIA ICIC)

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