Friday, 01 May 2020 04:40

City appeals for kin of COVID-19 patients: ‘They need our help, not discrimination’

Written by Stephen Pedroza
City appeals for kin of COVID-19 patients: ‘They need our help, not discrimination’ Roel Felicitas of City Information Office
The City Government of Cagayan de Oro has appealed to the public not to discriminate the family members of COVID-19 patients who are undergoing the mandatory quarantine in the City Isolation Units (CIU) or in their own houses.
“Time and again, I have always emphasized that there is the importance of us getting rid of the stigma,” said CIU camp manager Rhyselle Bernadette Descallar, during the May 1 press briefing at the City Hall.
“They need our help, not discrimination, not even the stigma. It is not easy being in their shoes right now. They are going through a lot and they are experiencing mixed emotions.”
Descallar shared that the family members of the patient (PH6783) who recently died due to COVID-19 may have been struggling with “what’s going on around them and it has been affecting them emotionally and mentally.”
“They are very afraid. They are actually not ready to go out of the facility, not because they just don’t want to, but because they fear that the community might not be ready for them.”
Descallar urged the communities to work together in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Let us help one another. Let’s get rid of the hate, the stigma. Let us fear COVID-19, but let us not fear the person.”
As reported today, the 17 family members of PH6783 from Sitio Pinikitan of Barangay Camaman-an have undergone swab testing last night.
The Department of Health - Northern Mindanao has already forwarded the swab specimens to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao for confirmation.
Local authorities have warned that violators of the “COVID-19 Anti-discrimination Ordinance of Cagayan de Oro City” will be imposed with a fine of Php5,000 and community service for 30 days or imprisonment of not exceeding six months or both.
Prohibited acts under the said city ordinance cover “any form of discrimination against persons with confirmed COVID-19 infection, persons covered under suspect and/or probable cases, close contacts, health workers, hospital employees, and other frontliners.”