Speaking for the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Dr. Philbert Malaluan said some of the returning Cotabateños were students, laid-off workers from the National Capital Region, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) “from as far as Alaska.”
The returning residents arrived in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday via a 2GO vessel and were transported to North Cotabato by bus.
Identifying several hometowns of the hundreds of returning residents, Malaluan said 10 of those “rescued” under the provincial “Task Force (TF) Sagip” initiative were from Kidapawan City, and one each from the towns of Kabacan, Midsayap, M’lang, Magpet, Makilala, and Matalam.
“All 16 residents were stranded in Cagayan de Oro City after they arrived by plane or ship. All are now on their way home,” he said Wednesday.
Another 24 Cotabateños also arrived at the General Santos City International Airport on Wednesday via a sweeper flight of Air Asia from Manila.
Malaluan said eight of them were from Pikit, two each from Kidapawan City, Midsayap, Pres. Roxas, Tulunan, Makilala, M’lang, and Pigcawayan; and one each from Libungan and Alamada.
On Monday, some 25 residents from Midsayap, North Cotabato also arrived in the province from Cebu City where they attended a religious gathering in the town of Oslob.
He said the successful journey back home of the religious sect “Bag-ong Jerusalem” was a joint effort of TF Sagip, the provincial tourism office, and Midsayap’s town government.
“They arrived by boat to Dapitan City and were fetched by vehicles of the Midsayap LGU and brought directly to the municipal isolation facility in Barangay Anonang where they are now on quarantine,” Malaluan said.
John Ryan Borja, supervising nurse of the Anonang isolation center, said all protocols were strictly and properly observed as directed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
He said the members of the religious group would be quarantined at the patient care center in the next two weeks.
“They are not allowed to mingle with each other, they remained separated, and body temperature is checked every 6 a.m., 11 a.m., and 6 p.m.,” Borja said, adding that nutritious food is provided for free and visitors are strictly prohibited.
North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco said more than 7,200 Cotabateños have registered with the “Sagip” program of the provincial government. (PNA)
By Edwin Fernandez