DAVAO CITY, Aug. 12 (PIA) - In a special meeting of the secretaries of the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) with the members of the regional IATF, RTF, and the Regional Peace and Order Council yesterday (Aug. 11) in Davao City, the IATF secretaries recommended for the mobilization of barangays to aid the local government units in providing quarantine service for mild and asymptomatic COVID 19 cases.
This after the Davao Region governors expressed in the said meeting that most LGUs no longer have the resources especially to cater the recent spike in cases brought by the Hatid Tulong Program which brought in locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) who turned out COVID 19 positive when tested in the receiving locality.
Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity (PAPRU) and Chief Implementer of the Philippines' Declared National Policy Against COVID 19 Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said that it would be too costly for the government to do so many testing for the LSIs and ROFs. It was rather suggested that the RT-PCR testing be done at the receiving end and for the LGU to ensure that the 14 day quarantine be strictly done.
Galvez said there are still 227,000 LSIs that need to be assisted.
Learning from the experience of Cebu City, Galvez shared that the solution on controlling the spread of the virus and the problem on the limited available resources was when the barangay officials committed to take care of the quarantine and isolation of COVID 19 cases who are asymptomatic and with mild symptoms.
"We talked to the barangay officials and they committed to handle that. The Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) were empowered," said Galvez
This was also supported by Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano as he encouraged barangays to have barangay isolation units.
"In every 1,000 population, there must be at least 5 beds available in the barangay as isolation unit," he said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III noted a commendable number of Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMFs) in Davao Region.
The region has 862 TTMFs with a total of 7,470 beds. Of this number, 50 TTMFs were certified and 16 have already been accredited with Philhealth.
"Your TTMFs number is 3.5 times better than the national figures," said Duque.
Despite the exemplary COVID 19 response shown by the Davao Region, Duque stressed that this is the best time to crush the clusters while the numbers is still manageable and the health system is not yet overwhelmed.
" Let us not put our guards down and learn from the experience of NCR and Cebu. I call on our governors and mayors to move decisively." (PIA XI/Frances Mae Macapagat)