MANILA – The country is grappling with the sharp increase in the number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases due to the expanding capacity of the government to do mass testing, a local executive said Monday.
Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto Rubiano said the spike in Covid-19 cases is due to the intensified mass testing done nationwide.
“The positive cases are increasing not only in Pasay but also nationwide, that’s because we are conducting massive testing, so of course, we see a lot more residents tested positive,” Rubiano said in Filipino during her Facebook live stream, “Online Q and A with Mayor Emi.”
“Kaya ‘wag po kayong magugulat, tataas pa po ito (Do not be surprised, it will still increase),” she added.
Meanwhile, Rubiano has reminded anew residents to adhere to the government’s health protocols to avoid further local transmission.
She also advised residents who tested positive with the disease to immediately isolate themselves away from the community and warn people who have had close contact with them.
“At syempre ang pinaka-importante po tayo ay pumayag na magpa-swab test (Most importantly, we should agree to have swab test),” she said, citing that the national and local governments have been providing swab testing and quarantine arrangements for those who contracted the dreaded disease.
Amid the pandemic, the Pasay City government has established a contact tracing command center (CTCC) as a preventive measure against local transmission of Covid-19, which Rubiano said would “serve as the nerve center for data gathering in Pasay City.”
The local government is also using a “tracing app” to further intensify its contact tracing among infected residents with their close contacts.
The tracing app, called One Country 100, a patient management system with contact tracing capability, was developed by 8layer Technologies, Inc. in partnership with the local government.
Protocols on public transportation
On the other hand, Rubiano said the Pasay City has been implementing health protocols and preventive measures against Covid-19 in accordance to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF) guidelines.
The city government has required all passengers riding public transportations to wear face shields, apart from face masks.
Rubiano said the city has allowed motorcycle back-riding only for those with essential travels provided that they wear face masks and put up a back shield.
As the only public transportation in Pasay, she said tricycles were allowed to operate for the use of essential workers, health care workers and other essential front-liners.
However, the local government has issued a memorandum to all tricycle operators and drivers in Pasay City to strictly implement a “no face shield, no ride” policy, which has begun on August 10.
Rubiano said tricycle operations should run in a color-coding method.
She said tricycles with pink color operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while the green tricycles operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays.
Both pink and green tricycles would operate simultaneously on Sunday.
Rubiano added that the local government has passed an ordinance imposing stricter measures to effectively contain Covid-19 in the city.
Through the ordinance, she said, all barangay officials are deployed to check within the communities and apprehend individuals who violate the minimum health standards enforced in the city.
Rubiano noted that community participation is vital to beating Covid-19.
“Pero po marami tayong mga plano, marami tayong pamamaraan at ang dami tayong ginagawa pero kahit anong ganda nito ‘pag hindi po natin kaisa at katulong ang bawat mamamayan, hindi po tayo magiging successful (Although we have a lot of plans, we have a lot of methods and we do a lot of work, but no matter how good it is, if we do not have unity and participation from the citizens, we will not succeed),” she said.
She urged residents to partake in the government’s initiatives against the dreaded disease.
“Let’s do our share, as a responsible citizen, wear your face masks and always practice physical distancing,” Rubiano said. (PNA)