AFP MEDICAL TEAM. Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) medical team attend a send-off ceremony at the Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on Sunday (June 29, 2020). The AFP sent nine doctors, 13 nurses and 13 medical aides to help contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) spike in the Cebu City. (Courtesy of AFP PAO)

MANILA – A military medical team consisting of nine doctors, 10 nurses, and 13 medical aides were deployed in Cebu City to help in ongoing efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) spike in the city, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Sunday.

Named as Task Force Central and headed by Maj. Maria Adesitas Sagario, its members underwent precautionary swab testing and flu vaccination prior to their flight at 8 a.m. via Philippine Air Force C-130 cargo aircraft.

“We are proud of this team for stepping up in this dangerous but very important mission. This is what it means to be a soldier and we know more than anyone that no danger of disease will stop us from accomplishing our mission,” AFP vice chief-of-staff Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr., said in a statement during the send-off ceremony at the Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.

Collado was joined by National Task Force-Covid-19 head Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu who is in charge of enforcing Covid-19 protocols in Cebu City.

“You are representing the AFP. Take care of yourself and perform your duties diligently, not only as members of the Armed Forces but also as an individual. This way when all this is over you will have achieved personal fulfilment,” Cimatu said.

Meanwhile, Galvez lauded the AFP medical team for answering the call for help from medical front-liners in Cebu City.

“I am grateful to all of you for answering this call to help our health workers who are in the frontlines against the pandemic in Cebu. We know this is difficult but your dedication, strength, and bravery will boost the morale of your fellow health workers,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Cebu City under enhanced community quarantine last week. Cebu City has registered 4,417 Covid-19 cases as of June 26, according to Department of Health data.

So far, the AFP has already deployed 405 medical personnel in different emergency quarantine facilities nationwide, including the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, World Trade Center and Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Metro Manila.

Over 1,500 doctors, nurses, and military medical auxiliary are also deployed in military treatment facilities all over the country.

“This pandemic has erased the limits on how Filipinos could help in this fight and we are glad to be part of this national effort to control and alleviate the impact of Covid-19 in the country,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., said. (PNA)

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