Quarantined Truck Driver Absent During Wife's Funeral Due to Covid-19
By BILL F. GABAY
ODIONGAN, Romblon - A truck driver who works for a trucking business operator based in this municipality was not able to see his wife even for the last time during her funeral because of the corona virus pandemic.
Joselito (not his real name) was in a warehouse in Manila under quarantine restrictions when his wife was buried at the public cemetery of a town not too far from Odiongan. Only the couple's three children and some relatives and friends were present during the funeral.
A source said the wife who was suffering from an unknown illness and Joselito were only able to communicate with each other through phone calls and text messages before she died.
The truck driver and his two helpers called "pahinante," just like the employees of other forwarders whose assigned tasks were to transport food supplies and other goods on a weekly basis, are only some of the very few people allowed to travel to Manila and back to Odiongan to make sure that there was an uninterrupted flow of food supplies and agricultural products since the province was placed under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) last March. But there was a price they had to pay. They are not allowed to go to their respective homes and visit their families when in Odiongan nor are they allowed to roam around to prevent possible transmission of the corona virus into the province. After unloading their cargoes at the public market unloading area they go straight to the warehouse and stay there until their next trip to Manila.
The same precautionary measure is observed when they are at the Batangas port. Joselito and his helpers are restricted to just one area until they are told that their truck is ready for loading on the carrying vessel which is intended only for cargoes with no passengers.
The Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force have maintained a No Entry policy up to this point that prevents people from entering the province of Romblon and counter the spread of the virus.
So far, Romblon's three major islands, Tablas, Sibuyan and Romblon have remained Covid-19 free since the first case of the infection in the Philippines was reported by the Department of Health.
Meanwhile, Joselito is hoping that things will return to normal very soon so that he can visit his children for the first time since Romblon was under quarantine.