'Kabilaang kasalan, birthday': Mass gatherings blamed for COVID-19 spread in BARMM


Posted at Jun 11 2021 11:02 AM

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MANILA - The health ministry of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on Friday attributed the spike in COVID-19 cases in their area to mass gatherings like weddings and birthday celebrations.

Director General Dr. Amirel Usman of BARMM's Ministry of Health said discouraging people from social gatherings is a challenge since many still do not believe in COVID-19. 
"Marami pa ring gatherings ang nangyayari dito sa amin. However po, ang BARMM government ay tinututulan natin na magkaroon ng gatherings but for the past one month ay talagang nakikita nating may mga birthday kabilaan, may kasalan at ibang events,” said Usman.

(There are many gatherings happening here. However, the BARMM government is against these gatherings but for the past one month we've seen birthdays and weddings and other events left and right.)

Aside from weddings and birthdays, people also pay last respects to those who died which also contributes to the possible spread of the virus. 

"Minsan po yung namamatay na yun COVID positive or COVID suspect so hindi na po natin natetest," he said. 

There were also government-related events like meetings which may cause infection.

In an interview on TeleRadyo, Usman said they have recorded 97 new cases last Thursday which brings the total number of confirmed infections in BARMM to 7,432.

“Pinakamaraming kasong naitala pa rin sa Lanao del Sur, sumusunod po ang Cotabato City, pumapangatlo ang Maguindanao, followed by Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi,” he said.

(Lanao del Sur registers the highest cases followed by Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.)

Of the total confirmed cases, Usman said 273 have died while the positivity rate is 14 percent.

“For the past 2 weeks, nakatala kami ng 12.6 percent increase ng aming kaso so right now ang BARMM nasa moderate risk,” he said.

(For the past 2 weeks, we have registered 12.6 percent increase in our cases so right now BARMM is at moderate risk.)

While the situation is still manageable, Usman said they still lack level 3 hospitals in BARMM which makes it a challenge for them to set-up ICU beds in case of severe COVID cases.

“Talagang nirerefer namin sa aming mga referral hospitals kasi wala kaming capacity sa aming hospital to have an ICU,” sabi niya.

(We really transfer them to our referral hospitals because our hospital does not have the capacity to have an ICU.)
- TeleRadyo 11 June 2021