MANILA – A ranking official said the government pushed for the extension of the enhanced community quarantine to strengthen efforts to halt the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and help the country adapt to the “new normal” social order.
During a virtual press briefing on Sunday, Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 chief implementer and presidential adviser on the peace process, said among the government efforts being done include the full operation of the Ninoy Aquino Stadium as a quarantine facility on April 13, which can accommodate about 112 patients.
He added that there is also a need to construct various patient care centers in every city and municipality nationwide to contain Covid-19.
About PHP1.7 billion, he said, has already been raised by the private sector through “Project Ugnayan,” which sought to help low-income families affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Indian Community in the Philippines also donated 75,000 pieces of KN95 face masks and another 75,000 pieces of N88 face masks.
These donations, he said, will be distributed to hospitals nationwide.
Covid-19 testing, quarantine facilities
Galvez said the country already has now 15 Covid-19 testing facilities, which include St. Luke’s Global in Taguig City, V. Luna Hospital in Quezon City, The Medical City, Makati Medical Center, and the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in Mandaluyong City.
“These facilities will accelerate and expand the country’s capacity to run Covid-19 testing and identify patients for immediate treatment,” he said.
The mass testing, he said, will help the government efficiently identify, isolate, and treat those patients who have tested positive for the disease as early as possible.
He said there are 2,673 patient care facilities nationwide with a total bed capacity of 165,756 catering individuals with Covid-19 symptoms.
“This coming week, we are expecting the six mass quarantine facilities to be operational which can accommodate more than 2,000 suspected and probable Covid-19 patients,” he said.
Meanwhile, Galvez also noted the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine helped address the spread of Covid-19, quoting World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Director Takeshi Kasai.
“Dr. Kasai said the government was right about implementing the ECQ to suppress the spread of the disease,” he said.
He further reminded the public to support the country’s medical front-liners.
The local government units (LGUs), he said, should also be acknowledged for pursuing best practices against the spread of the Covid-19.
“Local governments of Manila, Valenzuela, Marikina, Pasig, Baguio, Davao, Caraga at Bicol regions serve as an example for implementing strict and organize enhanced community quarantine,” he said, reminding the other LGUs to follow the leads of these LGUs.
The LGUs, he emphasized should be the ones leading to flattening the curve in their cities and municipalities saying, “let us not waste our efforts and gains that we achieved during the past three weeks under ECQ.”
Galvez said there can be a chance for a ‘selective quarantine’ if the ECQ is strictly followed.
He said the government is intensifying the implementation of the ECQ nationwide by having 4,467 quarantine control points all over the country.
About 60,979 personnel from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine Coast Guard man these checkpoints to maintain social distancing.
He also ensured the continuous provision of food and medical supplies for the people and medical front-liners. (PNA)