MANILA – The quarantine measures have helped the country to succeed in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, and even gradually contain the spread of the dreaded virus, Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Covid-19, said on Friday.
“Dalawang buwan mula nang ipatupad natin ang enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), nasaan na nga po ba tayo? Mga minamahal naming mga kababayan, ikinalulugod ko pong ibalita na sa ating patuloy na laban sa pandemyang ito, tayo po ay nagtatagumpay sa pagsugpo nito ( Two months after implementing the ECQ, where are we now? Dear fellow countrymen, I am pleased to announce that as we continue to fight this pandemic, we are so far successful in suppressing the disease),” he said a virtual presser.
Galvez, also the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said the success of the government in containing the contagion is the result of implementing the NAP’s strategic framework, which includes the T3 (test, trace, and treat) program and the PDITRA program or “prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, reintegration, and adopting the new normal.”
The strategic framework, he said, aims to prevent the spread of the disease and limit its negative effect on the “community, economy, and security of the country.”
Galvez reported that an average of 250 new confirmed cases in every 11,509 tests is done daily.
In March and April, he said, the positive cases have reached 13 percent, however, the cases had already gone down to 8 percent this month.
Covid-19 testing facilities
Galvez said the government has strengthened its testing capacity by accrediting 39 Covid-19 testing laboratories nationwide.
“Sinisikap pa po nating dagdagan ang bilang na ito (We are doing our best to increase the accredited testing laboratories),” he said.
Out of 39 accredited testing laboratories, he said, 21 are located in National Capital Region (NCR), six are in other parts of Luzon, seven in the Visayas, and five in Mindanao.
Galvez said 119 more testing laboratories now being assessed by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
The testing centers of some 89 hospitals are lined up for approval in advanced stages of 3 and 4, he said.
Each hospital has undergone the following assessment stages: self-assessment (stage 1), validation (stage 2), compliance (stage 3), proficiency testing (stage 4), and full-scale implementation (stage 5).
On the other hand, Galvez noted the constant decline in the number of fatalities and a steady increase in the number of recoveries.
“Ngayong Mayo, mula sa double-digit na bilang ng mga namamatay, ay na-reduce po natin ito sa single-digit na lamang. Target po natin na tuluyang ma-reduce ang bilang na ito sa zero deaths per day (This month of May, from a double-digit number of deaths, it was reduced into single-digit only. We are targeting to reduce this number into zero deaths per day),” he said, citing the DOH data released on April, that about 50 Covid-19 patients died every day.
Meanwhile, Galvez said the number of recoveries has mounted to triple-digits in May, from recorded single-digits in March.
The highest single-day recovery, he said, was recorded on May 13 with 145 recovered patients.
The government, he said, is strengthening the health facilities to provide the medical needs of every Covid-19 patients.
Quarantine facilities, protective gear
Galvez said there are already 1,500 identified referral and treatment hospitals nationwide with 10,572-bed capacity, as of May 20.
He added there are 3,146 “We Heal As One” Covid-19 centers have been built nationwide that can accommodate around 57,773 persons under monitoring, suspected, probable, and confirmed cases.
There is also a total of 13,295 hospital beds nationwide, Galvez said as of May 20, only 5,143 beds have been occupied.
“Ibig sabihin po nito ay sapat po at handa ang ating mga ospital para sa treatment ng mga confirmed Covid-19 cases na nangangailangan ng agaran at masinsinang medikal na atensyon (This means, hospitals have enough capabilities and are ready to treat those confirmed Covid-19 cases who needed immediate medical attention),” he said.
The government has also stabilized the supply and demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the country, he added.
As of May 20, a total of 700, 000 level-4 PPE sets have already been distributed to various Covid-19 referral hospitals across the country, Galvez said.
Apart from this, he said, various local government units have also purchased PPE sets on their own, while several private sectors have distributed more than two million PPE sets to both private and public hospitals.
He said the government is stockpiling 11 million PPE suits and other medical supplies until 2021 — “to ensure the safety and protection of every healthcare worker nationwide.”
Galvez earlier said that since the government has begun purchasing medical-grade Level-4 quality PPE sets, there has been “a great reduction of death cases among healthcare workers in the country.
He then urged the public to continue to cooperate with the government health protocols such as social distancing, wearing face masks, and adapting to the new normal. (ia/PNA)