THE Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7) officially announced Tuesday, June 22, 2021 that it no longer has Dr. Mary Jean Loreche as its spokesperson.
DOH 7 Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas said Loreche voluntarily inhibited herself from the post since June 19.
The former spokesperson who is also DOH 7’s chief pathologist will be concentrating on her other functions in the Department, said Bernadas.
Earlier, Loreche was rumored to have been removed from the spokesperson position by the DOH central office for “ruffling the feathers” of top health officials.
Loreche has been a staunch supporter of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s “swab-upon-arrival” policy for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) that calls for shorter facility-based quarantine.
Last week, Loreche was quoted as saying, “Let us not put in all of these stringent and suffocating rules because we are afraid to think outside of the box,” referring to the tight border control measures imposed by the Covid-19 national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) which include more stringent facility-based quarantine regulations for ROFs and OFWs.
“For now, voluntarily, she just wanted to lie low and stay silent for a while. It was voluntary on our part and a collegial decision in the office,” Bernadas said.
In place of Loreche, Bernadas will now handle the daily virtual press conferences and will directly answer issues on policies.
Bernadas also asked DOH 7 regional medical coordinator for Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases Van Philip Baton to take charge of vaccination details, and Eugenia Mercedes Cañal of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit 7 to handle updates on the region’s Covid-19 cases. (WBS)