EOC to investigate claims of ‘intimidation’ by contact tracers

By: Mae Fhel Gom-os - CDN Digital | August 30,2021 - 06:41 PM
Joel Garganera

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, city’s Emergency Operation’s Center head, says 11 establishments are being investigated for violation of quarantine protocols. | Morexette Marie B. Erram

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, the chief implementor of the Cebu City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said they are willing to investigate the claims of a licensed nurse that contact tracers allegedly used intimidating tactics to force them to get out of their house.

It can be recalled that licensed nurse James Marinduque took to social media to share the ‘unsettling experience’ he had when he spent a night at the Cebu City Central School on August 25, 2021, describing the government-run isolation center as ‘unsanitary.’

Apart from that, Marinduque claimed that they were threatened by contact tracers that army or the police personnel would be called to extract them should they refuse to get out from their house and come with them.

He also claimed that other patients had a drinking session in a room where around eight to 10 persons were isolated.

READ: Patients in Cebu City decry unsanitary isolation centers

Garganera told CDN Digital that they are willing to investigate the matter and will discipline the personnel should all of these allegations be found to be true.

Though it cannot be avoided that there are personnel with poor work ethics, Garganera said they could not allow unjustified and stubborn refusal of patients to be extracted from their homes.

“We want to ensure the safety of others in as much as we want to ensure the safety of our patients. Everything is a two-way street,” said Garganera.

The councilor said that he has been reminding all the EOC personnel to treat the COVID-19 patients as well as their families with compassion and empathy.

“My family has experienced getting COVID-19 and it is hard enough for all of us, the best that we can offer is to treat each other with respect,” he added.

Should there be any complaint about their personnel, he urged the concerned individuals to report it directly to the EOC so it could be investigated immediately.

As to the alleged drinking session in the said isolation facility, Garganera, in a separate interview with reporters, said they will also look into this issue.

He stressed that drinking alcohol is not allowed as far as health protocols are concerned.

“Impossible na kay unsaon man pagsulod? But anyway, [no matter] how strange the allegation [is], we will still look into it… I’m not saying nga that’s impossible, but in so far as our protocols is concerned, that is a very big no,” he said.

Garganera said personnel in-charge in the isolation facility will be held liable should the claim be found to be true.



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Garganera says additional week under MECQ may help


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TAGS: Barangay Isolation Centers, Cebu City EOC, Councilor Joel Garganera

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