A volunteer firefighter splashes solutions along the streets in Navotas to prevent from the COVID-19 virus yesterday. Navotas has implemented a local lockdown for two weeks due to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the city.(photo by ali vicoy)
BY GENALYN KABILING
House-to-house symptom checks will be stepped up in Metro Manila and other places with high number of coronavirus cases to prevent wider transmission of the illness.
According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, concerned local government units must actively find the persons with coronavirus disease in the high-risk barangays using the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) protocol.
Active case finding is among the “surge responses” for the health system ordered activated by the government task force in charge of addressing the pandemic over the weekend.
The government earlier decided to reintroduce tighter movement curbs in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal from March 22 to April 4, 2021 to address the rising cases in the country.
These four areas have been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with additional restrictions such as night-time curfew period as well as ban on mass gatherings, non-essential travel, and indoor dining in restaurants for two weeks.
“Ang mga lokal na pamahalaan din po ay kinakailangang sila po ay magbahay-bahay at actively find cases in the barangays with the highest cases using the Coordinated Operations to Defeat the Epidemic visits,” Roque said during a virtual press briefing Sunday.
“Ito po iyong pagbabahay-bahay at paghahanap ng mga sintomas, pag-i-isolate ng mga may sintomas at pagti-test sa mga taong may sintomas sa pamamagitan po ng RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction),” he added.
Under the CODE program initiated last August, the Department of Health coordinates with LGUs in preventing, detecting, testing and isolating coronavirus patients.
The CODE team included medical professionals from the health department.
In a memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea Sunday, March 21, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been directed to ensure all LGUs would activate the surge responses for the health system to address the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.
Apart from active case finding, LGUs must increase and improve facility-based quarantine and isolation through Oplan Kalinga.
They must also ensure appropriate patient care navigation through the use of One Hospital Command Center, Oplan Kalinga, and local government call centers with referral of mild and moderate cases to temporary treatment and monitoring facilities LGUs must also make sure private hospitals would reserve 30 percent of bed capacity for COVID patients while public hospitals dedicate 50 percent, according to Roque.
The country’s daily cases have recently breached the 7,000 level, pushing the total cases to 663,794 as of March 21. The country’s death toll has reached 12,968 since the outbreak started last year.