Controversial SIAPAR PUM Tests Negative for COVID-19
In an official post dated 12 August 2020, the Municipality of Anda, Pangasinan has ended the speculation about a Siapar resident who had an abrupt death at a makeshift quarantine facility in his barangay. It turned out that the controversial Siapar resident actually died of sudden cardiac arrest and nothing more. Swab test results from the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center showed that he was negative for the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The Siapar resident has been the subject of speculation after a photo circulated online which showed a team of PPE-clad authorities retrieving a cadaver and burying it all in one night. The PUM died a sudden death before the 14-day quarantine period for returning residents could be completed. While burying at night is an unusual occurrence that would alarm the townspeople, DOH mandates through Presidential Decree No. 856 or the Code on Sanitation in the Philippines that remains shall be buried within 12 hours of death and shall not be taken to any place of public assembly (see Section 4.7.2) — all of which suggests that the best course of action is to get everything done before daybreak, which thus sparked unrest not only to his barangay but also to Carot, where the man was buried, as well as to the rest of Andanians. Doctors reiterated COVID-19 patients do not die sudden, mysterious deaths.
To further assure the people, the direct contacts, as well as the travel companions of the PUM when he went home from Rizal, also underwent swab tests which all turned out to be negative.
The Municipality of Anda, Pangasinan advises the public to take the necessary precautions and health protocols such as wearing a mask, frequent handwashing, using hand sanitizers, and social distancing. Residents are advised to stay home and refrain from non-essential travel. (Ariel Bryan Casiquin, ANDA News 2405)