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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Concerned sectors in the city blamed organizers of the Oplan Padatung or those that spearheaded the return of locally stranded individuals from other places as reportedly responsible for the discovery of the first Corona virus Disease (COVID) 2019 case in the city because of their alleged breach of quarantine protocols.
City Health Office insiders, who requested anonymity for personal reasons, disclosed that officers and members of the Rotary Club of Tabuk which spearheaded the aforesaid program allegedly failed to coordinate with the local government on the implementation of the program as no formal communication was sent to the city informing local officials on the existence of the said activity and the frequency of the arrivals of locally stranded individuals from other places in the city.
The sources claimed that it is only when the chartered buses where the locally stranded individuals are riding are in the quarantine checkpoints that the organizers provide the manifest of the vehicle without substantially complying with the stringent health and safety protocols such as the medical certificate from the city or municipal health officer from their place of origin.
Further, some of the organizers have links with the department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) central office that is why it is easy for them to process the travel passes of the locally stranded individuals and that the same is allegedly done in bulk.
For the passengers of the 2 chartered buses that arrived in the city where one of them ferried the first COVID case in the city, the sources stated that the processing of their medical certificates was questionable as it was reportedly done underground and reportedly facilitated by a female police officer.
Under the established quarantine rules in both the national and local levels, locally stranded individuals should have in their possession medical certificates issued by the city or municipal health officer from their point of origin and covered by a travel authority from the police. Prior to the issuance of the medical certificates, the stranded individuals must undergo a rapid test to ensure that they are free from the deadly virus.
According to the sources, what happened in the case of the 30-year old displaced construction worker who came from Caloocan City, it was the local health personnel that conducted the rapid test because of the absence of the legitimate documents where he tested positive and subsequently tested positive in the swab test.
The sources expressed their disappointment on the way the Oplan Padatung organizers handled their program that went to the extent of blatantly violating prevailing quarantine rules that does not speak well of their status in the community because the local government was firm in the implementation of the said rules to prevent the gains of the community quarantine from being unjustly ruined.
The sources expressed their support to the filing of the appropriate charges against those who blatantly violated the quarantine rules and existing laws, rules and regulations for them to suffer the consequences of their actions in trying to circumvent the rules just to satisfy their interests in bringing locally stranded individuals to the city using allegedly fraudulently issued documents, especially medical certificates issued by individuals not authorized to issue the same.
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