Author Topic: IATF ramps up public health interventions in Cebu City  (Read 1157 times)


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IATF ramps up public health interventions in Cebu City
« on: July 02, 2020, 11:30:34 AM »
IATF ramps up public health interventions in Cebu City
By John Rey Saavedra  July 2, 2020, 10:20 am

CEBU CITY – To address the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases here, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is levelling up public health interventions in the city.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who came here to assist Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu in implementing national government measures against Covid-19, said “we have to be mindful of the non-pharmaceutical public health interventions” such as wearing of face masks, not less than one-meter distancing, proper handwashing, and disinfection as well as proper etiquette on coughing”.

“One imperative is the use of masks. There has been a study that a mask will give 85 percent protection. This is part of the new normal,” he said during a virtual press briefing after a meeting with the IATF-EID technical working group, other Cabinet secretaries, and local officials in Cebu on Wednesday.

Duque said containment measures are very important in order “to minimize the spread of the virus” through mechanisms established by the IATF and the Department of Health (DOH).

“We have to be proactive, which means we need to do active case findings in the communities. Find the suspects and the probable. Those with symptoms (you have to) isolate them right away. Those without symptoms (put them under) quarantine,” he said, stressing the need for efficient contact tracing.

He added that Cebu needs to ramp up its testing capacity. “Now I’m told that the testing capacity is 6,000 and we hope they would be able to match the capacity in terms of total daily testing outputs (result)”.

Also, the DOH is deploying a total of 40 doctors here, with 19 of them to be sent to government hospitals and 21 others to Covid-19 infirmaries.

The Philippine Society of Medical Specialists is sending 22 doctors in addition to five MDs who are already helping Cebu in the fight against Covid-19.

These medical specialists are on top of a 33-man medical team, nine of whom are physicians, from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The DOH-7 has already deployed 270 nurses to private hospitals in Metro Cebu.

Cimatu, who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the national government response to the Covid-19 crisis here, observed “progress in terms of enforcing minimum health standards” in the barangays.

Two village chiefs were issued show-cause order for mass gatherings during a religious event in Barangays Calamba and San Nicolas here, and, along with other officials and individuals, are now facing charges. Despite this, Cimatu said the people here are generally complying with the protocols.

Cimatu also observed zero fatality due to Covid-19 on Wednesday.

At the start of the presser, Cimatu prodded the Cebuanos to work with the IATF in efforts to graduate from the current enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status into a lower classification.

“We have to end our quarantine already. You help us achieve ECQ -- end Cebu quarantine," he said.

On Tuesday night, Duterte announced that the city’s ECQ status is extended until July 15 while the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay and the towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion remain under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The rest of the Cebu province is now under modified GCQ.

As part of ramping up capabilities of hospitals here in accepting Covid-19 patients, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said they are putting up tents near emergency rooms.

Galvez said the national government is monitoring the response capabilities of hospitals in this city to ensure the sustainability of the gains from the IATF interventions during the second ECQ here from June 16 to 30. (PNA)


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Re: IATF ramps up public health interventions in Cebu City
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 11:33:38 AM »
Cebu City village chiefs ‘obliged’ to do job vs. Covid-19
By John Rey Saavedra  July 2, 2020, 10:22 am

CEBU CITY – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday pressed the barangay captains here to do their job to reduce the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in their respective jurisdictions and graduate from the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“It will be the call of the barangay captains. This time, we will give the leaders, give the responsibility to the barangay captain and I think they are also ready and willing to do their job as barangay captain,” Cimatu said during the virtual presser after a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and Cabinet secretaries in Mandaue City.

According to him, the city has around 20 villages that are placed under lockdown until their coronavirus cases subside.

He said he required the barangay captains to meet a threshold he assigned to them before the IATF decides on the lifting of their lockdown status. He, however, did not elaborate on the threshold he assigned to the local officials.

“They (barangay captains) have to be on the guard para hindi na babalik yung (so that there would be no more recurring) infections,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Cimatu prodded the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas and the Cebu City Health Department (CCHD) to harmonize their figures on Covid-19 cases for better reference in arriving at decisions.

Cimatu cited the incident on Tuesday, a day before Cabinet secretaries arrived in Cebu for the IATF meeting in Mandaue City, where the CCHD reported 353 “new Covid-19 cases” in just one day.

“Actually, that is one of the subjects na pinag-usapan (that we discussed). We were discussing biglang nag-shoot up yung ang cases yesterday umaabot ng 353 case isang araw lang (the sudden shoot up of cases yesterday reaching 353 in one just a single day),” Cimatu said, noting that the normal average in the past only reached 190.

He said the data that the agencies have presented will be returned to them “to reconcile” the figures on confirmed coronavirus cases.

“So that (in) the meantime, I will only be using for the moment, yung city figures hangga’t hindi tayo magkatugmatugma lahat (those city figures until they have not been reconciled yet),” he added.

DOH-Central Visayas regional director, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, admitted that the data released on Wednesday showed a sudden spike in coronavirus cases.

He, however, explained that the data released by the DOH-7 are already “clean data” as the data from the CCHD was “still an accumulation of cases of the past five days".

He urged the CCHD officials to call his office to regularly reconcile their data.

Mayor Edgardo Labella admitted that the data released on Wednesday were an accumulation of the “past nine days.”

The cases were the result of the June 22 to 30 swab tests. “There were only around 39 cases average per day but appeared as if it was a result of swab test in one day,” he added.

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office-Central Visayas regional director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro said a team of contact tracing experts from Baguio City is coming to Cebu to help them establish a system in tracing suspected coronavirus-infected individuals.

Ferro said Mayor Benjamin Magalong expressed his commitment to helping the city in their contact tracing efforts, which Labella wanted to be maximized alongside the aggressive testing in villages. (PNA)