(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 07 August, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 325 km Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 520 km East of Infanta, Quezon (15.6 °N, 126.4 °E). Southwest Monsoon affecting Southern Luzon and Visayas. Caraga Region will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers thunderstorms due to trough of low pressure area. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate with at times heavy rainshowers. Slight to Moderate winds coming from Southwest will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.1 meters.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Call for Caraga Regional Hospital as testing, screening center earns support  

BUTUAN CITY, April 13 -- In a bid to safeguard the welfare of all Caraganons during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, all governors in Caraga Region have been requested to urge all their Sanggunians to pass a resolution supporting the immediate establishment of a molecular laboratory in the Caraga Regional Hospital (CRH) to serve as a COVID-19 testing and screening center for the Caraga Region.

This is the response of the Chairperson of the Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield, Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera, to the appeal of Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence “Law” Fortun to collectively lobby for this proposal as part of a nationwide measure for mass testing.

Gov. Corvera also said that the mayors in Agusan del Norte have already been advised to join the call by passing resolutions pushing for the said COVID-19 testing and screening center.

The call to equip and capacitate the CRH to become a testing and screening center in Caraga Region gained public support in social media following the statement aired by Rep. Fortun urging the Department of Health to put up the facility and appealing to governors, mayors and representatives to collectively call upon the health department to promptly act on the urgent need.

Rep. Fortun emphasized the importance of having a regional testing and screening center to enable mass testing in the expansive Caraga Region, which is composed of five provinces and six cities with several municipalities remotely situated.

He noted that, at present, obtaining test results for patients from Caraga is substantially delayed as collected specimens still have to be brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City which is already swamped with the demands of the Davao region alone. He said that having a COVID-19 testing and screening facility in the CRH will not only ensure faster results but also effectively reduce the burden and backlog of the already overwhelmed SPMC.

“While there is still only one confirmed case in Caraga, the number of PUIs (Patients Under Investigation) is continuously rising, and recent rapid tests revealed several presumptive positive cases needing immediate confirmatory tests. There is no way we can determine the real numbers unless we pursue mass testing. This also gives our health care system a clear direction on immediate and appropriate interventions to be made,” Fortun said. (Lawig Katawhan/PIA Agusan del Norte)


COVID-19 HCMT tracks health facilities in Caraga


BUTUAN CITY, April 13 -- The Hospital Compliance Monitoring Team (HCMT) of the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga continues to monitor the status of all level 2 hospitals in the region capable of managing patients under investigation (PUIs) or COVID-19 patients.

Prior to the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the region, the HCMT has already identified and tallied health facilities who have met the minimum requirements and can cater to possible COVID-19 patients. Some of the requirements include isolation beds and mechanical ventilators.

There are two (2) local public hospitals identified: D.O.P. Memorial Hospital in Agusan del Sur, and Butuan Medical Center in Butuan City; while, there are six (6) private hospitals recognized: Butuan Puericulture Center, Manuel J. Santos Hospital and Butuan Doctors Hospital in Butuan City, San Francisco Doctors Hospital, Inc. in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, St. Paul Surigao University Hospital, Inc. in Surigao City and Andres Soriano Memorial Hospital Cooperative in Bislig City. Likewise, Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City and Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center in Tandag City are managed by the Department of Health. These listed hospitals have been noted by the Regional Inter-Agency COVID Task Force “One Caraga Shield” where Local Chief Executives (LCEs) are members. It was also emphasized that because these hospitals have passed the Level 2 accreditation, these hospitals should be equipped in handling infectious cases such as the current viral threat.

Hence, there should be no refusals from the hospitals mentioned.

“We created the HCMT long before the ECQ was imposed because we wanted to constantly check the capacity and needs of both public and private level 2 hospitals in the region,” said DOH Caraga Regional Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr.

In the case of surge capacity, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) has disseminated the Regional Contingency Plan where all health facilities are required to put in place their own contingency plan, in which, most of the concerns are on human complement and resources.

“Let us all be ready in case surge happens. In the meantime, we assure the Caraganons that DOH Caraga is in constant communication with the designated health facilities and provide them the necessary assistance,” the Dr. Llacuna stressed.

DOH Caraga also appeals to the public to report immediately to the regional office via the DOH Helplines: 09482241857 (Smart) and 09453592632 (Globe) any related complaints. (DOH Caraga/PIA Caraga)