Northern Mindanao region, including Cagayan de Oro City, has the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases as compared to other regions in Mindanao. The region now has 4,470 confirmed cases, according to Mayor Oscar Moreno who strongly emphasized to the public to strictly observe minimum public health standards in order to contain the virus from spreading.



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Nakiglambigit karon ang syudad pinaagi sa Disiplina Muna Advocacy Team ug kadagkuan sa Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) sa nagkadaiyang transport groups aron makatabang sa kampanya batok COVID-19 ug masumpo ang pagkuyanap sa virus.
Si Oliver V. Egypto, chairman sa Disiplina Muna Advocacy Team nagtuo nga pinaagi sa tabang ug kooperasyon sa transport groups mas mapalapdan pa ang kampanya sa syudad pinaagi sa pagpatuman sa minimum public health standards sa ilang mga pasahero ilabina ang mandatory wearing of face mask ug pagtuman sa social distancing.
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Whether it be at the household, barangay (village) and city/town level, point persons should be assigned to remind and ensure strict public compliance to minimum health standards, a top official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday (Oct. 22).
´A person´s awareness of what´s happening around him/her is his or her immediate environment and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, someone should be tasked to remind him or her about the importance of compliance to health protocols wherever he or she may be,´ said Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, DOH Director for Health Promotions and Communication during Thursday noon´s press briefing.
Dr. Ho visited Cagayan de Oro City Thursday to spearhead the nationwide promotion of the DOH´s Bida Solusyon (Be The Solution) advocacy campaign to raise public awareness on the necessity for universal compliance to minimum health standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the DOH is driving their advocacy campaign at the grassroots or barangay level.
´Based on our surveys, the community´s biggest source of information is their local government as represented by their barangay leaders. Hence we are conducting risk communication and community engagement trainings with our local government counterparts who are in the frontlines serving their respective communities,´ Dr. Ho said.
While acknowledging the strong influence of social media in the dissemination of Information among the populace, Dr. Ho said mainstream media through TV, radio and print remain a primary and influential source of Information by the public especially those with no WiFi connection.
´For this we thank the mainstream media for helping the DOH in reporting and amplifying (our advocacy, initiatives and achievements in the country´s COVID-19 response programs),´ Dr. Ho said.
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Despite the rising number of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in Lumbia City Jail´s holding area, the City Health Office (CHO) said it´s working with the regional Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) office to contain the COVID-19 infection among inmates.
´Our medical officer assigned there, Dr. Ted Yu, reported to us that the infected inmates aren´t mixed with the general prison population and they are quarantined in the Lumbia City Jail´s temporary treatment monitoring facility (TTMF) which has an infirmary (to contain the spread of the infection),´ CHO resident epidemiologist Dr. Teodulfo Joselito Retuya said during Thursday noon´s (Oct. 22) press briefing.
About 18 of the 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded by the CHO as of 10 pm Oct. 21 were PDLs or inmates, CHO chief Dr. Lorraine Nery said. She said the rest were four returning Kagay-anons, five were local index or new cases, five were APORs (authorized persons outside residence) and 21 were persons with contact to previous cases.
´The recovered inmates had tested negative on their repeat swab tests and were returned to the jail. The holding area is on the third floor of the building built by the city government with th first two floors serving as TTMF including an infirmary. What is important is that they are not allowed to mix with the uninfected prison population (until they recovered),´ Dr. Retuya said.
Mayor Oscar Moreno said the BJMP has their own health personnel assisted by the CHO. ´What´s challenging there is the inmates don´t have their own room for their isolation. Naay diskarte ang BJMP niana (The BJMP has their own plans on that). So far there are recoveries and what´s important is that they are contained (and kept from infecting others),´ Mayor Moreno said.
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The City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) initiated and assisted a free Higalaay App registration at the City Public Cemetery in Bolonsiri in preparation for the influx of people visiting their dearly departed relatives.


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Any innovation, however small, initiated by local governments like Cagayan de Oro City during the COVID-19 crisis should be sustained beyond the pandemic, a top official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday noon (Oct. 22).
´In Cagayan de Oro you have telemedicine or tele-consultation which strengthened the hospital referral system for all patients during the pandemic. Cagayan de Oro also tapped the barangay health centers to conduct normal birth deliveries. These may be little things but they become the foundation for the country´s UHC (universal health care),´ said Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, DOH director for health promotion and communications.
Dr. Ho said this in response to Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno´s statements concerning the DOH´s role as the chief strategist in the national government´s COVID-19 response programs and how they mobilize and guide the local governments in crafting their respective strategies and policies in dealing with the pandemic in their areas.
During Thursday noon´s press briefing, Dr. Ho credited Mayor Moreno for helping strengthen the city´s health care system especially during the pandemic. ´I think (through the city government´s acquisition of facilities) a lot more opportunities were opened to strengthen the health care system and the private sector saw how it is important to invest in facilities to prepare the country for the next epidemic or pandemic,´ Dr. Ho said.
Cagayan de Oro City Hall´s acquisition of testing equipment and upcoming completion of a multi-purpose center housing a testing lab and isolation facility were followed by private hospitals like Maria Reyna-Xavier University Hospital (MRXUH) and Polymedic Medical Plaza that acquired their testing facilities for COVID-19 cases.
Mayor Moreno and the City Health Office (CHO) signed agreements with these hospitals to boost the city´s testing capacity for its COVID-19 cases. ´We should sustain these initiatives (and encourage private sector investment in the health care system) and make sure we run with it,´ Dr. Ho said.
Mayor Moreno said the COVID-19 pandemic forced the national government to level up and bolster its health care system on the national and local level. ´The DOH had to respond to that challenge despite its budgetary constraints and lead both the national and local governments in implementing its COVID-19 response strategies that are national government-led, LGU implemented and people-centered,´ Mayor Moreno said.
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While thankful that Manila and the National Capital Region (NCR) is relaxing its restrictions due to their improving COVID-19 sitiuation, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said Thursday noon (Oct. 21) that the city cannot afford to be complacent and must find ways to lower its COVID-19 cases about eight months into the pandemic.
´When Palace spokesman Harry Roque visited Cagayan de Oro last month he said it was a good thing that Cagayan de Oro City´s economy isn´t dead unlike in Manila and NCR where their economies are down due to COVID-19. And now after their lockdown and shift to general community quarantine (GCQ), their case numbers are improving,´ Mayor Moreno said.
From a high of 8,050 cases last Sept. 1, Metro Manila´s COVID-19 cases went down to less than half or 3,654 as of Oct. 13-19, Mayor Moreno said during Thursday noon´s press briefing. In Cagayan de Oro City, the City Health Office (CHO) recorded a cumulative total of 1,294 cases as of 10 pm, Oct. 20, City Health Officer Dr. Lorraine Nery said.
But of Cagayan de Oro City´s 1,294 cases, about 59 resulted in deaths or a case fatality rate of 4.5 percent while the city recorded 877 recoveries or a 67.77 recovery rate, Dr. Nery said. ´NCR cannot remain closed for long because the country´s economy is down and NCR produces two-thirds of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),´ Mayor Moreno said.
´I understand why Manila and NCR are opening up and we want that and the city had already been under general community quarantine (GCQ) since I resisted calls for a citywide lockdown. Right now we are ramping up our measures to lower our cases and we hope to do this (with the people´s support and cooperation),´ Mayor Moreno said.
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While the National Capitol Region (NCR) moves to open up their economy after a long lockdown, Cagayan de Oro City and northern Mindanao are faced with the choice to either follow suit or retain their quarantine status restrictions.

Either way, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the government´s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) had given local governments like Cagayan de Oro City discretion to undertake measures in dealing with their respective COVID-19 situations subject to their review and approval.

´As a matter of rule, the IATF sets parameters and these parameters allow for adjustment and adaptability by the local governments. They understand that there is no perfect set of rules that will cover all angles and possibilities,´ Mayor Moreno said during Wednesday noon´s (Oct. 21) press briefing.

Since the country has 81 provinces and 122 cities, the IATF looks at the COVID-19 situation from a national, regional and provincial level, Mayor Moreno said. ´There are exceptions such as the direct intervention in Cebu City,´ Mayor Moreno said.

´Due to limitations in the country´s financial resources ang IATF gitugotan ang matag local government na mangita sila og pamaagi sa pagkombate batok (the IATF allowed each local government to find ways to combat) COVID-19 subject to the parameters (that are grounded on compliance to public health standards),´ Mayor Moreno said. 

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