No need to place GenSan under ECQ: Lorenzana

The National Task Force (NTF) against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) said on Thursday there is no need to place the city under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) despite the increasing locally transmitted infections.


Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, NTF chairman, said their assessment showed that the Covid-19 figures in the city are “not very alarming” and there are still enough health care resources available for patients.


He cited that the city government has been “actually doing well” in terms of contact tracing for confirmed cases and the containment measures in the affected areas.


The official also cited the tightened control measures at the city’s fishport complex, which was traced as the exposure site of a number of confirmed cases.


He said the admissions in local hospitals catering to Covid-19 patients are still manageable based on its capacity of 600 beds.


“If that trend continues, the infections here will just eventually stop. So there’s no need to ramp up your quarantine status,” he said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.


Lorenzana’s response practically shot down an appeal made early this week to the local government by officials of the Philippine Medical Association chapter here to place anew the city under ECQ to properly address the rising Covid-19 local transmission.


The group said although the city has enough care resources for Covid-19, its manpower component has been decimated as 12 health workers were already infected while 249 others are under quarantine after being exposed to confirmed cases.


The city government already reverted the area to the stricter general community quarantine from Sept. 14 to 27 due to the situation.


As of Thursday, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city already reached a total of 193, with eight related deaths and 69 recoveries.


Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Police against Covid-19 chief implementer, said their inventory showed that at least 600 beds were by nine hospitals in the city with dedicated facilities for Covid-19 patients.


He said such a number doubled the minimum 30-percent capacity required by the Department of Health based on the 1,055 combined bed capacity of local hospitals.


“Your active cases right now are 116 but only 55 are confined in hospitals. So the 600 beds for active cases are not yet at full capacity,” he said.


But Galvez said the city should focus on adding more intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is currently at eight.


He said the area should have at least 24 to 30 ICU beds based on the ideal capacity for its size and population.


Lorenzana, Galvez, and other officials of the NTF’s Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic or CODE Team, including “testing czar” Secretary Vivencio Dizon, were in the city to assist the local government’s efforts against Covid-19.


They also met with other local government leaders and members of the Soccsksargen Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19. (PNA)


Source: Philippines News Agency

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