Testing czar and National Policy Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Secretary Vince Dizon (Screengrab from RTVM)

MANILA – More isolation facilities for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients would be built under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), the country’s testing czar said on Friday.

“Sa tulong ng (With the help of) Bayanihan We Recover As One Law ay kakayanin pa natin ito kahit na dumami ang ating testing o dumami ang ating kaso (We can still manage it even if our testing capacity increases or the Covid-19 cases spike),” National Policy against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer, Secretary Vince Dizon said during a virtual press briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in Baguio City.

Dizon noted that the measure is part of efforts to improve the country’s capability to isolate more patients away from their communities to avoid further transmission of Covid-19.

Under the Bayanihan 2, PHP4.5 billion was allocated for temporary medical isolation and quarantine facilities, field hospitals, and expansion of government hospitals’ capacity all over the country.

Dizon also noted a significant drop in the number of Covid-19 infected individuals in government isolation facilities in greater Metro Manila.

“Ngayon po ay nasa 50 percent plus na lang. Nasa 52, 53 percent na lang (So far, it’s just 50 plus percent. Around 52, 53 percent only),” he said.

While noting that the country’s Covid-19 response has already improved, Dizon cited the need to continue all efforts that have been done in the past to further halt the spread of the disease.

“Sa testing ganun din. Madami na tayong nate-test pero ang pino-focus natin ngayon—’yung mapabilis natin yung testing natin. Hindi lang yung dami ng tine-test kundi yung bilis ng pagte-test. ‘Yun yung importante (It’s the same thing in testing. We have tested a lot, but what we are focusing on now — is to further hasten our testing capacity. Not just the number of tests but the speed of the testing. That’s more important),” he said.

“Kailangan 24 hours to 48 hours naa-isolate na natin yung mga kababayan nating magkakasakit (We should isolate our infected countrymen within 24 to 48 hours),” Dizon added, noting that the new technologies must be maximized to combat the disease.

He also reiterated that beating the pandemic needs cooperation among the government, the public, and other stakeholders, citing criticism as a “normal stand” in a democratic country.

“Ang importante lang naman tingin ko, dapat ang focus natin hindi ‘yung mag-criticize, dapat magtulung-tulong na lang tayo (The only important thing I think, we should not focus on criticism, we must work together),”

Dizon acknowledged the essence of cooperation to further flatten the curve of Covid-19.

“Laban natin ‘tong lahat eh. Hindi ito laban lang ni Pangulong Duterte o ng gobyerno. Laban ‘to ng bawat Pilipino (This is our battle. It’s not just a battle for President [Rodrigo] Duterte or the government. This is a battle of entire Filipinos),” he said. “Tulung-tulong pa din ang kinakailangan para magtagumpay tayo (We still need cooperation to succeed).” (PNA)

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