IATF, NTF to set up ‘model’ barangays to lead vs. Covid-19

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MANILA — The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IAFT-EID) headed by the Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with the National Task Force against Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), will be establishing model barangays to lead the implementation of the five-point containment strategy for Covid-19 to be followed by all local government units.

In an exclusive interview, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III stressed the need to gradually reopen the economy, while ensuring that the spread of the virus will be controlled through the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team that will allow close partnership between the national government and its local counterpart.

This is a nationally-enabled, LGU-led, citizen-centered response to the pandemic Covid-19 at kaya po tayo nababa sa mga pamahalaang lokal para ayudahan, para suportahan sila by way of technical, material support — yung mga PPEs nila, yung mga testing kits, and other supplies — at mga augmentation ng mga human resource (This is a nationally-enabled, LGU-led, citizen-centered response to the pandemic Covid-19. We go to local government units to help them and provide support by way of technical, material support — like PPEs, testing kits, and other supplies—and the augmentation of human resources),” he said in the Friday episode of Network Briefing News with host Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.

The government would instead opt for a targeted, more granular, and more localized community quarantine.

Kapag nagawa natin ito, mas maganda ang tsansa na ang ekonomiya ay babangon muli dahil syempre babalansehin natin yung kalusugan at tsaka yung ekonomiya. Hindi naman po ‘either-or.’ Pareho naman nating pwedeng suportahan (If we do this, there is a better chance to revive the economy because, of course, we would have to balance healthcare and economy. There is no ‘either-or’ here because we can actually support both),” he added.

“Ito pong ating CODE teams ay bumababa — lilikha po tayo ng model barangays na sila po ang magpapatupad nung limang operational frameworks ng ating National Action Plan ng Task Force (The CODE teams will establish model barangays that will implement the five operational frameworks of the National Action Plan of the Task Force),” he said.

He discussed the five-point operational framework containing COVID 19, which starts with prevention through enforcing behavioral change from the public in terms of ensuring health and safety.

By way of the BIDA Solusyon, which means yung masking up, yung paggamit po ng mga disinfectants, yun pong physical distancing, at yun pong tama at madalas na paghuhugas ng kamay, ito po ay ilan sa mga minimum health standards na kinakailangan pong maisakatuparan saan mang lugar (By way of BIDA Solusyon, the use of masks, disinfectants, physical distancing, and frequent handwashing, are some of the minimum health standards that should be observed in all places),” he added.

Early detection by intensive contact tracing, the second thrust which Duque underscored, is much more effective paired with two other key points, aggressive testing, and isolation.

Kailangan ihiwalay via Oplan Kalinga yung mga may sintomas, yung mga nakasamang natukoy sa contact tracing, ilagay natin sa isolation and quarantine facilities para nang sa ganun, mahinto ang pagkalat ng virus (We have to isolate via Oplan Kalinga those with symptoms and individuals identified in the contact tracing efforts, and place them in isolation and quarantine facilities),” he added.

Oplan Kalinga is a program assisting Covid-19 positive patients who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms to be confined to government isolation facilities.

With the newly launched Hospital Command Center, the anti-COVID task force has established a hospital referral system that links critical patients to healthcare facilities for appropriate treatment and management of their clinical condition.

The last element of the strategy is the reintegration of recovered patients to their communities which, with the constant support of concerned agencies, have already adapted to the new normal.

Duque added that it is much cheaper to follow the minimum health standards such as wearing face masks, observing safe physical distancing, and regular hygiene.

Walang bayad. Libre. Kesa naman magpabaya tayo, hindi natin maaprreciate itong mga ganitong mga practical measure na wala namang bayad, eh mauwi tayo sa ospital niyan (It’s free. Rather than being complacent and refusing to appreciate these practical measures and ending up hospitalized),” he added. (PR) 

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