Zubiri to IATF: Impose 'stricter measures' in Northern Mindanao before 'outbreak gets worse' | Inquirer News
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Zubiri to IATF: Impose ‘stricter measures’ in Northern Mindanao before ‘outbreak gets worse’

/ 07:22 PM May 24, 2021
Zubiri to IATF: Impose 'stricter measures' in Northern Mindanao before 'outbreak gets worse'

FILE PHOTO: Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri. Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri called on the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to implement “stricter measures” in Northern Mindanao in order to control the rise of COVID-19 cases there.

This, while Zubiri raised alarm over the recent surge of COVID-19 infections across the region.

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“I am appealing to the IATF to impose stricter measures in Northern Mindanao to control the rise of cases, and to instruct the regional IATF to enforce these measures now before the outbreak gets worse,” he said.

“The region might benefit from a change in our quarantine classification, as well as localized lockdowns in areas with particularly alarming surges. We might also need to reinstitute the negative COVID-19 test requirement for inbound travelers. I hope the IATF can assess the situation and enforce the necessary measures as quickly as possible. We must act now before it gets out of hand,” he added.

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‘Hospitals filling up’

According to Zubiri, the regional IATF in Northern Mindanao reported a 300 percent rise in COVID-19 cases in the region two weeks ago.

“And this weekend, CDO (Cagayan de Oro) reported that their numbers have risen to 962, from just 100-plus in March. In Bukidnon, our medical frontliners are struggling to deal with the sudden surge of COVID-19 patients,” said the majority leader, who hails from Northern Mindanao.

“Our hospitals are already filling up. I know that Bukidnon Provincial Medical Hospital (BPMH) is full, along with some of our private hospitals. And Northern Mindanao Medical Center has already raised its status to Code Red, with 50 percent of their operating capacity taken up by COVID cases,” he added.

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