Mon. Aug 2nd, 2021

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has ordered the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 to step up measures to contain the rising cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country. 

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The NTF, through its task group “Treat”, has been directed to use the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance Using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler for Early Detection of Diseases (FASSSTER) projections on target beds and human resources for health, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.

“These projections shall identify health capacity needs required to lower health care and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates,” said Roque, who concurrently serves as IATF-EID spokesperson.

The features of FASSSTER, a web and mobile application for disease modeling and surveillance developed by the Ateneo de Manila University, have been improved to enable it to generate predictive models to be able to forecast future numbers of Covid-19 infections, confirmed positive cases, deaths, and recoveries.

He said the IATF-EID has also instructed the task force to review and implement the recommended Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat- Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies to reduce the health use rates and augment the needs of health workers.

The government’s PDITR strategy is seen to help the country move towards the “new normal.”

Roque said the NTF s Treat task group, along with the health department’s Health Facility Development Bureau and other concerned agencies, should identify target additional beds every week.

The plan, he said, will substantially reduce health care and ICU use rates, as well as determine specific health facilities and infrastructure where additional beds would be contributed.

Roque said determining the number of beds weekly would allow the government to know how the beds would become functional with adequate health workers and equipment.

The NTF, he said, should also engage the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to develop training and instructional materials on available Covid-19 response frameworks to improve the implementation of control measures at the village level.

“The said materials shall be cascaded to the barangay, purok, sitio, and zone levels through the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the regional counterparts of the NTF for immediate and intensified implementation through barangay empowerment,” he said.

On Thursday, Roque said augmenting ICU beds for Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms plays a “crucial” role in the relaxation of community quarantine status in May.

He noted that the government aims to have 200 more ICU beds, on top of the 176 beds promised by hospitals in the National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus), which covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

Daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and health care utilization rate serve as indicators for community quarantine classification. SOVEREIGNPH

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