Cebuanos told: Don’t discriminate COVID-19 patients, frontliners

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Reporter/CDN Digital | March 29,2020 - 12:42 PM

Hospital Workers (INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO/AFP)

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu officials are asking the public to avoid ostracizing individuals who came in close contact with patients infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and even medical practitioners who are attending to their needs.

In a press conference on Saturday, March 28, 2020, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia threatened to take legal actions against anyone who will discriminate against the frontliners, especially those who are in the health sector.

Garcia issued her warning after she received reports that a homeowners’ association in a subdivision in Bogo City in northern Cebu was planning to draft a petition that seeks to bar entry of hospital workers into their subdivision.

“If I find out any of these will actually happen, I will not hesitate on filing charges against you. Mga way puangod,” Garcia said.

In a separate interview, Provincial Board Celestino Martinez III said that the local government of Bogo is now looking into the matter.

Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro reiterated his appeal for the public to stay at home as a means to prevent the spread of the infection.

There are now 26 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Central Visayas, most of which are in Cebu City. This includes the first confirmed case in the region, a Chinese tourist from Wuhan City who already recovered and was discharged from the hospital last January.

A total of four fatalities was logged by the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH – 7) as of March 28, 2020.

Two of the deaths were reported in Cebu City while the two others were in Negros Oriental.

In a statement issued on March 28, 2020, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH – 7 director, urged the public to refrain from instigating panic and hurling violent reactions or actions against those who came in close contact with the COVID-19 patients.

Bernadas assured the public they have placed sufficient containment protocols around the patients who tested positive of the disease. / dcb

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