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MAASIN CITY, April 18 (PIA) -- Amid the COVID-19 threat, the provincial government of Southern Leyte has already prepared a quarantine facility for possible cases in the province.

Department of Health Provincial Representative Dr. Verna Fernandez said the quarantine facility was identified at the old Provincial Hospital in Mantahan, this city, which can accommodate 2-3 patients each room, with a total of 19 rooms.

“A quarantine facility should be ready since the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has already signalled the coming home of Overseas Filipino Workers to their respective provinces,” Fernandez said during a press briefing held recently with the local media.

Every local government unit throughout the province should also identify theirs in preparation for the OWWA directive, she added.

“Though we have not yet received as to how many OFWs will be coming home to Southern Leyte,” she said.

As of 3 p.m. of April 16, 2020, data released from DOH-8 revealed that the province of Southern Leyte remains COVID 19-free.

Meanwhile, during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), Gov. Damian G. Mercado, confirmed that Southern Leyte has already identified the quarantine facility including other LGUs as mandated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

He reiterated that it is still essential to monitor and tighten the movement of people going in and out from the province to avoid entry of the dreaded disease.

“We should continue to heighten our community quarantine because we have already gained from what we have implemented,” the governor added referring to the precautionary measures implemented against COVID-19.

The IATF-EID members to include the city/municipal mayors in the province discussed Executive Order No. 23 extending the heightened community quarantine from April 15, 2020 to April 30, 2020.

Some additional provisions of the EO include the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places while stranded OFWs will be allowed entry but will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine at their respective LGUs. (ldl/rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)