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MAASIN CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) -- The province of Southern is now reactivating the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) ) to help the government address the crisis brought by Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Based on the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2020-023, all barangays nationwide must form or reactivate their BHERTs, Department of Health (DOH) Representative Dr. Verna Fernandez said.

As for Southern Leyte province, the BHERTs in all 500 barangays throughout the province were already formed and “it will be reactivated,” she said.

“This is to protect the community-residents from COVID-19 entry in the province,” Fernandez said..

Fernandez, who is one of the members of the Provincial Task for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, disclosed that BHERT members will serve as watchdogs in their barangays and will monitor residents and visitors coming in and out from their areas.

“They should make sure that residents within their areas of responsibility are all accounted for and should be informed about the corona virus,” she said.

If there will be any emergencies, the BHERT members should immediately report to proper authorities, she added.

“Each of us must prepare for any possible COVID-19 case which will take place at the barangay level where any untoward case may occur,” Fernandez said.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is chaired by Gov. Damian G. Mercado, co-chaired by Provincial Health Officer II Dr. Feliciano John Matibag, Jr. and Board Member Napoleon Regis as the vice-chair.

Members of the said task force include the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, PNP Provincial Director, DOH-Rep, Philippine Red Cross-So. Leyte Chapter, Tourism Officer, Bureau of Fire Protection, DILG Provincial Director, Department of Education, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, among others. (nbq/rgc/PIA8-