Just after the first confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was recorded in Mindanao where the patient from Iligan City was admitted to a hospital in Cagayan de Oro City, the City Health Office (CHO) called for emergency meetings with the airport and seaport authorities in Misamis Oriental.
Emergency Meeting on March 12, 2020
The meeting was conducted to review the implemented measures in the main entry and exit points of the City and province. The City Health inquired from the representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)-Region 10 and the PPA Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro (PMO MO/C) the operation flow in the Laguindingan International Airport and the Port of Cagayan de Oro, respectively, to determine at which points additional measures may be put in place.
For the airport, the health authorities recommended the following:
* Cooperation of all the airlines that operate in the Laguindingan International Airport such as the provision of face masks to passengers who are starting to feel unwell while onboard and diligent collection and recording of Passenger Locator Forms;
* Person under Monitoring (PUM) or those who have traveled from places with confirmed COVID-19 cases but did not manifest any symptom of the said disease, shall be immediately provided with face masks;
* Coordination with the DOH and LGU for the deployment of a medical response team should there be suspected COVID-19 victim among passengers in an arriving aircraft;
* Ambulance shall be dispatched near the aircraft upon landing so the subject person can be immediately transferred into the vehicle upon disembarking and need not enter the airport building. The PUM/PUI will be the last to deplane.
For the seaport, the CHO recommended:
* Issuance of Executive Order by the City Government that will contain the directive that all embarking passengers who have body temperatures higher than the normal range will not be allowed to travel;
* Ship operator must report the case to the port of destination before arrival. Hence, the City Health enjoined the shipping lines on this undertaking.
* Since vessel operation is beyond the ambit of PPA, the PMO recommended to the body to also invite the Maritime Industry Authority-Region 10, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the shipping lines for a coordination meeting.
The City Health urged the participants to be proactive and be as vigilant to an individual who is still a PUM, as to the Person Under Investigation (PUI)—a person who has traveled to COVID-19-affected places/countries and have shown symptoms of the disease.
Emergency Meeting on March 13, 2020
A separate meeting was conducted between the City Health and the port and maritime agencies— PMO MO/C, MARINA, PCG, and PNP Maritime Group, and the shipping lines operating in the CDO Port.
MARINA relayed the issuances of the agency pertaining to the preventive measures against COVID-19. Representatives from the shipping lines had also reported the measures being implemented in their vessels and ticketing outlets such as the provision of alcohol and sanitizers, face masks, and requiring passengers to indicate their places of origin in the prescribed form.
CHO recommended the following to the shipping lines:
* Designate a quarantine area in the vessel with attending nurse/s;
* Automatically provide facemasks to those who are not feeling well onboard;
* Procure and administer thermo guns onboard;
* TV-shoeing of in vessels, and passengers must also be informed of the location of the quarantine area and be advised to seek immediate medical assistance should they manifest symptoms of COVID-19;
* Ask for the contact numbers of the next kin or company especially of senior citizens (the most vulnerable sector of this pandemic) to hasten contact tracing.
The City Administrator informed the body that the LGU is set to conduct disinfection activity around the city starting with nearby churches. The Port Manager asked the City LGU to include the CDO Port in their target areas for this activity.