19 in isolation for coronavirus in Central Command

There are still at least 19 active cases of personnel from various military branches in isolation for coronavirus at Camp Lapu-Lapu, the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Central Command. 

CentCom spokesperson Major Eduardo Precioso told Rappler in a phone interview most of the 19 are nurses and engineers working the front lines of the pandemic response. 

The cases are mild only and they are currently in the isolation units of the camp. 

Precioso said at least 15 were set for discharge already by the end of the week, while the 4 will remain in isolation the following week.

Emergency Operation Center head Joel Garganera told reporters earlier during a press conference that the military already did their own contact tracing so close contacts could also be tested and isolated. 

During the height of the enhanced community quarantine in July – when Cebu City was known as the second epicenter in the coronavirus outbreak – military personnel augmented quarantine enforcement in Cebu City.

Soldiers and police officers were brought in from different battalions across the country to help with the effort as local law enforcement were also testing positive for coronavirus.

As of late August, there have been no new reports of police officers testing positive for coronavirus.

Most of the augmented forces had already left, as the number of active coronavirus cases in Cebu City dwindled from almost 10,000 to less than 400. 

According to Precioso, Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Visayas region, has been on red alert since the beginning of the outbreak.

But the number of positive cases within the camp has not prompted a lockdown because they were able to isolate and contact trace immediately, the Central Command spokesperson said. – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.