Monday, 17 August 2020 10:36

Moreno: CdeO´s ‘service without borders’ to Iligan, NorMin neighbors

Written by Stephen Capillas
Moreno: CdeO´s ‘service without borders’ to Iligan, NorMin neighbors Photos by Nicasio Anches with CHO infographics

Rather than closing Cagayan de Oro City´s borders, Mayor Oscar Moreno said City Hall should prioritize its role as “service provider” to both city residents and their neighbors in need of assistance in their COVID-19 cases.

“Let´s not be paranoid, let´s avoid panic by being pre-emptive rather than reactive. Instead of closing the city´s borders and investigate every Iligan City resident heading to the city, we should head straight to Iligan City and help them (with their COVID-19 cases). I won´t authorize (any closure of borders) and I would be very unhappy (with that),” Mayor Moreno said during Friday noon´s (Aug. 14) press briefing.

Mayor Moreno´s emphatic statements came amid confirmation from Dr. Bernard Julius Rocha, liaison officer of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) that they have four COVID-19 positive patients from Iligan City confined at their emerging and re-emerging infectious disease (EREID) section. This includes a 70-year-old female patient who was transferred to them from a private hospital in Iligan City.

Iligan City which registered 62 local COVID-19 cases as of Aug. 13, is reportedly heading to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status starting next Monday.

In refusing to close the city´s borders, Mayor Moreno said Cagayan de Oro City is the “hospital hub” of Northern Mindanao and is host to the NMMC which the Department of Health (DOH-10) designated as a COVID-19 referral hospital in Region 10.

City Health Officer Dr. Lorraine Nery said they have instituted triaging areas since the start of the pandemic to every quarantine control checkpoint including those near the boundary of Opol town. Mayor Moreno also confirmed that he ordered Dr. Nery to coordinate with the Provincial Health Office to help them in their COVID-19 cases.

“But as I told my team kalimti ang boundaries nato (let´s forget our boundaries in this pandemic), let us not be parochial because that will not solve all our problems. I repeat all of us in Northern Mindanao are in the same boat together. No matter how strict our border controls are, if the problem erupts (within our region) it will be dangerous for all of us,” Mayor Moreno said.

While thanking the City Health Office for dialoguing with their counterparts in Iligan City, Mayor Moreno said Cagayan de Oro City´s quarantine status will be directly affected if NMMC is overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases from other parts of northern Mindanao.

´The government wears two hats — that of regulator and that of service provider. And in this pandemic we at City Hall should be a service provider by helping make our people´s lives and our neighbors´ lives easier,” Mayor Moreno said.