By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 12:18 AM September 12, 2021

Three days after the effectivity of a measure that is supposed to decongest temporary isolation and treatment facilities managed by local government units in Bohol and rooms used for home quarantine, the opposite is still happening.

Data from the Emergency Operations Center of the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force EOC-BIATF showed that since September 9, when the Executive Order No. 44 series of 2021 (EO No. 44) took effect, 645 individuals were still in LGU operated temporary isolation and treatment facilities.

Two days later, or by September 11, 2021, instead of going down, the figure even went up to 765; 130 individuals more when the mandatory 5-day quarantine was supposed to be lifted.

In Bohol, when incoming individuals are all suspected of becoming carriers of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), they are mandated to undergo five days of quarantine in either LGU quarantine facilities, government approved hotel and accommodation establishments used as hotel quarantine venues and rooms in homes as long as these pass the standards for home isolation.

The move is to make sure incoming persons are isolated to allow coronavirus disease (Covid-19) symptoms to manifest, in case the incoming individual came in contact with a Covid-positive, right after his last swab test before crossing to Bohol.

But seeing the costs and hassle of operating and feeding those in LGU or spending for hotel quarantines while incoming individuals are generally virus-free, EO No. 44, by recommendation of tourism industry officials, health experts and mayors, freed those individuals in LGU temporary isolation and treatment facilities as well as on home quarantine.

“Those in the process of completing their quarantine as required under EO 42 series of 2021, are free to end their quarantine,” the EO said.

Exempted by these measures are those who manifest symptoms of the disease and those waiting for their Covid-test results.

Signed last September 8 and taking effect the following day, EO No. 44, series of 2021 amended EO 42 and lifted the mandatory 5-day quarantine upon arrival of an incoming returning resident or authorized person outside residence and non-APORS or even tourists.

EO No. 44 essentially amended EO No. 37 and EO 42 which suspended for a month, incoming travel to Bohol by persons not authorized to travel outside their residences (non-APORS).

The same EO hoped that with the loosened travel restrictions, Bohol can still manage its local COVID-19 cases while opening up economic activities to sustain the communities.

Earlier, amidst a Covid-19 surge in Bohol and reports of possible Delta variant cases here, the governor issued EO No. 37, series of 2021, which directed a two-weeks suspension of incoming air and sea travel to Bohol, unless these are cargoes necessary for the local economy, or APORs.

For incoming APORS, other than showing in the molecular laboratory results which shows they are negative for Covid-19 and an approved s-pass, the earlier EOs also put in a mandatory 5-day quarantine and repeat RT PCR on the fifth day of quarantine.

This was also later extended with the issuance of EO No 40, series of 2021.

But, in recent consultations with health experts, tourism stakeholders and mayors, the governor issued EO 44, realizing that Bohol’s problem stems from local transmission and not from the suspected arriving travelers.

And as Bohol struggled to take the viral surge in control, hospital beds are getting critically occupied, LGU isolation facilities bursting at the seams.

As per EOC-BIATF dashboard which is updated daily, last September 9, there were 645 Boholanos on home quarantine, 721 on LGU isolation and treatment facility and 234 were on hospital confinement, a day after the EO freed those on 5-day mandatory quarantine as per earlier EOs.

By about 4:00 PM September 10, 2021, there were 667 individuals still on home quarantine and 765 on LGU isolation and treatment facilities.

That time too, there were 159 Boholanos sick with Covid-19 who were confined in hospitals.

The following days, September 11, 2021 at 8:15 AM, those in home quarantine increased some more, while those in LGU isolation was still at 765. That same day, hospital confinement for Covid-19, in fact increased to 263. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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