Twin Lakes closed over COVID fears

The Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in Negros Oriental is under lockdown after an allied health worker of the provincial government who tested positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 visited the area before her test result was released.

Indira Requiron-Puspus, Sibulan Tourism officer and CoViD-19 spokesperson, on Monday confirmed the tourist destination in the mountains of Sibulan has been locked down since last week.

Under lockdown

She said Protected Area Supt. Celerino Baja of the Protected Area Management Board of the Twin Lakes (Balinsasayao and Danao) Natural Park told her Monday that “the good thing is that all of their personnel were swabbed and tested negative” of the coronavirus.

However, the place is still under lockdown while disinfection is ongoing while the staff have to complete their mandatory quarantine period, she added.

She said that while the PAMB has operational control over the Twin Lakes as mandated by law, the Sibulan LGU still has jurisdiction over it considering its geographical location, and the town government is also providing assistance and support to the needs of the tourist destination.

Tourist destination

The Balinsasayao Twin Lakes is a popular tourist destination in Negros Oriental in shared boundaries of Sibulan, Valencia, and San Jose, and is declared a natural park via Presidential Proclamation No. 414, series 2000 and signed by then-President Estrada.

On Aug. 30, during a massive power interruption in several towns and cities covered by the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative II, the allied health worker, a nurse assigned to the Inapoy Community Primary Hospital in Barangay Inapoy, Mabinay, had reportedly visited the Twin Lakes, among other places that she had gone to.

Retrace and locate

The nurse is one of two allied health workers who had tested positive of the coronavirus at the Inapoy hospital, after their head nurse from nearby Kabankalan, Negros Occidental died of the CoViD-19 which resulted in the temporary shutdown of the facility.

She had allegedly left the hospital without proper permission even before her throat swab test result had arrived last week and took a Ceres bus to this capital city.

Her departure sent contact tracing teams scrambling in Mabinay, Sibulan, and Dumaguete, among other areas, to retrace her steps and locate the persons she came into contact with.

Some of her contacts here have tested negative of the virus.

The woman is now under isolation while the provincial government, headed by Gov. Roel Degamo, is looking into possible administrative sanctions for her actions in putting public health at risk, said Adrian Sedillo, executive director of the Province’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Sedillo said the IATF was scheduled to discuss this week in their regular meeting the possible actions to be taken against the allied health worker of the provincial government. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)

This story appears courtesy of Dumaguete MetroPost.

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