MANILA – Aggressive contact tracing and the immediate isolation of asymptomatic and mild positive patients from their communities will be the key in preventing the further transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
This was emphasized by the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chairperson and Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenza on the sidelines of a meeting on Aug. 7 with Pateros local officials to learn about the local government units’ (LGUs) efforts in battling the disease.
The meeting comes less than a week after Metro Manila and the provinces of Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal were placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) due to the rising number of cases in the areas.
“The biggest lesson we learned while making our rounds in Metro Manila is to do contact tracing and isolating positive cases from their communities,” Lorenzana said in a press release issued on Sunday.
During the meeting, the NTF and Pateros officials exchanged best practices in containing the spread of the virus, while addressing perceived gaps in the national and local governments’ Covid-19 response efforts.
“We are here to meet with local chief executives and discuss the ways that the national government can help them (in their response) and identify areas for improvement in handling Covid-19 cases,” Lorenzana said.
Among the challenges currently faced by Pateros is isolating positive cases which are currently on home quarantine.
“We really need to act immediately and separate Covid-19 positive patients to avoid infecting the whole community,” said National Action Plan on Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez.
“We’ll take care of the facility, food, and transportation so that we can do it within the day. We’re already coordinating with MMDA to plan the transfer of these people,” Galvez added.
Pateros Mayor Miguel F. Ponce III thanked the NTF officials for visiting the municipality and supporting the LGU’s interventions against the pandemic.
“I know that we will not be able to win this battle without the support of our national government. So, I would like to thank you, Sec. Lorenzana, Sec. Galvez and all the other representatives from the different agencies,” Ponce said.
“I could vouch for my people here in the Municipality of Pateros that the Cabinet secretaries, particularly those who are with us today, actually gave their all-out support to us that’s why we have reached this stage in our fight against Covid-19,” he added.
During the meeting, the NTF officials also turned over 3,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the municipality as part of the government’s continuous efforts to scale up the nation’s health care capacity. (PR)