Day after the declaration of Community Quarantine in the Province of Lanao del Norte through Executive Order 05, Series of 2020, “Declaration of Community Quarantine, Its Guidelines to Prevent Local Transmission of COVID-19 in the Province of Lanao del Norte and the Creation of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19.” Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo immediately held a Coordination and Planning Meeting concerning COVID-19 with the officers from the Municipal Health, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction, and Management Office, Doctors to the Barrio, Chiefs of Police, Officers of the Philippine Army, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Philippine Red Cross, Land Transportation Office, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Fire and Protection, Department Heads of the Provincial Government, Members of the Task Force, and the Honorable Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Maria Cristina N. Atay.

Ms. Sittie Aminah Quibranza Dimaporo, the Provincial Administrator, explains the importance of the meeting in addressing concerns and issues in taking necessary steps together in the fight against the spread or local transmission of COVID-19 in Lanao del Norte.

Provincial Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo, encouraged the municipalities to actively participate in meetings organized by the Provincial Government, particularly on Corona Virus Infectious Disease- 2019 (COVID-19), the African Swine Fever, Polio, and Avian Flu.

The Provincial Chief Executive called on all the Mayors, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces to assist the Provincial Government through the Task Force in implementing the guidelines and necessary procedures to strengthen the issued Executive Order on the ground.

Governor Angging also appealed to the Municipal Health Officers as well as to the Private Hospitals and Clinics to coordinate with the Provincial Health Office regarding the gathered numbers of suspected persons under monitoring and persons under investigation for centralization and control of information before handing over to the regional office of the Department of Health, as not to create misinformation that may cause panic to the people.

The Provincial Government will make the Old Kapatagan Provincial Hospital be the isolation facility in case there is a confirmed COVID-19 patient in the province, and the Incident Command System will be activated and will be stationed at the Old Provincial Capitol, Pigcarangan, Tubod.

The Governor said, “I don’t want to declare the Provincial Community Quarantine, though we don’t have any COVID-19 case in our province, I have to protect the people. For all, I know the people of Lanao del Norte are observing and practicing the necessary precautions disseminated by the Department of Health, especially on proper hygiene.”

In her concern with regards to the safety of the medical personnel, Governor Angging said that through 2nd District Representative, Congressman Abdullah ‘Bobby’ Dimakuta, Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana have agreed to transport the Personal Protective Equipment using the C-130 Cargo Plane of the Philippine Air Force, and it will be distributed immediately to the Provincial Hospitals and Municipal Health Offices for the safety and protection of the responders, medical personnel and barangay health workers as frontliners.

Atty. Mark Christopher A. Babor, the Provincial Legal Officer, explains the purpose and content of Executive Order No. 05, Series of 2020.

Like in Section 1, due to the health threat of COVID-19, and its steady increase of persons infected in the country, EO 5, S.2020, encourages all residents of Lanao del Norte to stay home, and avoid going to public places, consciously observe social distancing, regularly practice proper hygiene as recommended by the Department of Health.

And on the suspension of classes from March 17 to March 30, only learners and teaching personnel are subject to the order, while non-teaching, administrators and the likes will continue to report to their respective offices, according to a representative from the Department of Education-Division of Lanao del Norte.

Section 11, encourage the Local Government Units to designate a single stop-over in their locality and coordinate with the concern government agencies to frame guidelines that are necessary to implement the mandate. This is to closely monitor the people coming in and out of the province.

In the Afternoon, Elvin Pomicpic, Statistician of the Provincial Health Office presented the Standard Protocol on Reports Submission System, while Dr. Teresa M. Reponte, Acting Provincial Health Officer, discussed the Referral System Guidelines, Updates on LDN Status on COVID-19 Management, and Engr. George Demavivas tackles the guidelines on Disposal of Dead Body, where he clearly emphasized to bury the dead within 12 hours, with minimal handling to prevent further transmission of the virus.

Dr. Jovette S. Guinal, Provincial Department of Health shared the template of reporting like contact tracing of suspected COVID-19 patients for uniformity.

Vice Governor Maria Cristina N. Atay, thanked the participants who have attended the coordination and planning meeting and deeply appreciated the work of the medical personnel in handling the suspected patients, and hope that all concern government agencies, including the private health care service providers, will work as one in the fight in eliminating the COVID-19 and in protecting the people of the Province of Lanao del Norte.

The Coordination and Planning Meeting was held at the Mindanao Civic Center Gymnasium, Municipality of Tubod, on March 17, 2020. PIO-LDN