The province South Cotabato and the entire region 12 will remain under the Modified General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting May 16 to May 31, 2020, after the National Inter-Agency task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) recalled the lifting of community quarantines in several areas across the country that have “low risk” to coronavirus infection.
Governor Reynaldo S. Tamayo Jr. expressed his fear of the lifting of the community quarantine in the province since the three most important criteria were not yet satisfied.
These include the 3Ts which stand for Test, Treatment, and Tracing.
These 3Ts he said are very important and are even acknowledged internationally.
Despite the putting up of the Covid -19 facility which is now operational, the establishment of the Testing Laboratory and the Contact Tracing were not yet finalized.
The opening of the Testing Laboratory is one of the requirements Governor Tamayo awaits to ease the threats caused by the deadly virus in the province.
He said, there is a need for the testing lab since without it we cannot determine if the virus has been contained or not.
The Testing Laboratory which is now on level 3 awaits the reply from the Department of Health and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) if the facility needs more reassessment or if it is ready for operation.
On the other hand, the contact tracing application being pushed by the provincial government is now on its testing stage.
Tamayo said, as soon as these requirements are not yet complied with, there is still fear that the virus can be spread more so, there is still no vaccine available yet.
The recall on the lifting of the community quarantine is a positive development for the province to ease the fear brought about by the deadly virus.
Earlier, the province of South Cotabato together with the provinces of Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and the cities of General Santos and Cotabato in Region 12 appeal for the extension of the GCQ until May 31, 2020.
Other regions that were classified as “Low-Risk” are Region I, Region IV-B, Region V, Region VI, Region VIII, Region X, and BARMM.
South Cotabato awaits the issuance of a new executive order within this week for the guidelines of the modified GCQ in the province.