MANILA – Localizing response against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic within the National Capital Region (NCR) has improved due to unified efforts of local government units (LGUs), Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the national policy against Covid-19, said Monday.
“Noong bumaba po kami sa mga LGUs na i-localize natin po ‘yung ating strategy ay tumugon po sila at nakita po natin na ang NCR nagkakaisa, na talagang puspusan po na pinalalakas po nila ‘yung mga capacity po nila (As we go down to the LGUs localizing our strategies, they responded and we saw that NCR is united. They were really intensifying their [testing and quarantine] capacities),” said Galvez, also the presidential peace adviser, during a virtual public address of President Rodrigo Duterte.
He said the government’s testing capacity in Metro Manila now stands at 320,000 tests per day.
At the same time, he said LGUs are boosting efforts to establish more quarantine facilities, citing Taguig City’s mega quarantine facilities which will open soon.
There is also an improvement in the country’s contact tracing capabilities, Galvez said, adding that more are being trained to help the government determine and isolate people who came into contact with Covid-positive patients.
He said there are about 25,767 contact tracing teams comprised of 227,648 individuals.
About 43 percent of these tracers have already been trained, he said.
“Nag-improve na po ang ating close contact ratio to 1:5, dati po 1:3 lang at iaakyat po natin ‘to na dapat 1:10, 1:15, hanggang makuha po natin ‘yung at least 1:20 (Our close contact ratio has improved from 1:3 to 1:5 and we are upgrading them into 1:10, 1:15 until we reach at least 1:20 ratio),” Galvez said.
“Ang maganda po ay ‘yung contact tracing natin ay nakukuha na natin 94 percent ‘yung mga first contact, nakukuha na po natin within… ibinigay na po na panahon (The good thing about this is that we have been tracing 94 percent of the first contacts — within the given time),” he added.
Galvez also cited the aggressive testing, tracing, and isolation of positive cases in greater Metro Manila areas, where he said implementation of home quarantine is usually challenging.
He said through Oplan Kalinga program, the government has recorded more than 18,423 Covid-19 cases housed at the mega quarantine facility while 7,007 cases were isolated in government-partnered hotels.
“Ito po ay — total isolated po natin, kasama na po ang (The total isolated cases including) NCR, Region III at saka (and) Region IV-A, is 25,430),” he said.
“Itong 25,000 po na ‘to mahigit po na ito hindi po natin na-isolate, ito po ay mati-triple na puwedeng mag-transmit (If these more than 25,000 cases are not isolated, the number of cases might triple which could cause disease transmission),” he added, citing the same cases in densely populated areas in Navotas City, wherein home quarantine was prohibited to curb local Covid-19 transmission.
Galvez said through intensified isolation efforts of the government, some 88,109 active cases on August 14 went down to 51,894 as of this date.
There is a huge reduction since the government imposed aggressive isolation, he said.
“Bumawas po tayo ng more than 36,215 noong mataas po tayo noong August 14 (The cases were reduced by more than 36,215 since the spike held on August 14),” Galvez said, noting that the government has recorded the most number of Covid-19 transmission and casualties on August 14. (PNA)