By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro regional governance has dispatched relief goods for residents in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur towns subjected to 10-day granular lockdown to quell a spike in COVID-19 cases and sustain the autonomous region’s state of having the “lowest risk” in pandemic across the country.
Bangsamoro interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim led regional officials in the sendoff rite here on Saturday of relief workers accompanying five trucks filled with basic foods and hygiene kits on request of Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr.
Gov. Adiong started imposing on Saturday a 10-day granular lockdown recommended by the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) across Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, especially in areas with recent reports of new cases, it was learned.
The initial relief mission brought 2,500 food packs, 1,000 bags of rice and several hygiene kits for Marawi City and the towns of Marantao and Wao, according to Jo Henry of the Rapid Emergency Assistance for Disaster Incidence (READi) unit of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG).
The partial assistance came from the READi, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) and Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan (TABANG) program of the chief minister’s office, Henry said.
Chief Minister Ebrahim said the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance will “give more” as the need arises in areas subjected to 10-day granular lockdown.
“Ito (relief mission) ay ginagawa natin sa BARMM kase nakikita natin ang paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan. Ito ay bahagi ng ating moral governance,” Ebrahim told reporters at the send-off ceremony.
According to raw reports reaching the Philippine Muslim Today news, 56 new COVID-19 cases were reported in 12 barangays of Marawi City caused by referrals of Maranao patients to the city’s Amai Pakpak Medical Center from the Northern Mindanao region. News cases from Marantao and Wao were not known as of the press time.
Last week, the BARMM’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said the autonomous region posted a “low risk” in the country, with its total cases of 9,706 cases or less than 1% of the Philippines’ total cases at 1.756 million cases.
Dr. Bashary Latiph, MOH Minister, said in a report from the Bangsamoro Information Office that as of Aug. 16, only11 new cases were registered with active cases at 454 – five in Maguindanao, four in this city, and two on combined Lanao del Sur and Marawi City.
The latest 26 new cases in Marawi City indicated a spike, prompting the IATF of Lanao del Sur to impose the 10-day granular lockdown, PMT sources said. (AGM)
(Attached are BARMM-supplied photos showing Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim checking some of the relief goods, and of the assistance-filled hauler trucks he sent off from Cotabato City on Saturday for Lanao del Sur and Marawi City.)