Top implementers of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 are arriving in this city on Wednesday afternoon to help local officials map out coordinated operations aimed at defeating the coronavirus disease 2019 in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.
In a major response to a city and a province outside Metro Manila, chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and three of the country’s four Covid-19 czars — Secretary Vivencio Dizon, chief testing czar; Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, chief tracing czar; and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, chief treatment czar — with some 20 other officials from various government agencies are all coming together to the aid of Bacolodnons and Negrenses.
On Tuesday night, Bacolod already breached the 2,000-mark for total confirmed cases, now hitting 2,056, with 1,291 active cases, 735 recoveries, and 30 deaths.
The latest data released by the capitol on Sept. 5 showed Negros Occidental’s tally of 1,401 cases, including 12 deaths, 723 active cases, and 666 recoveries.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea informed him of the arrival of top officials of the NTF and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
He added that Dizon also committed to providing automated extractor kits to Bacolod this week after he sent a request on Sunday.
“Bacolod needs help in accessing these critical supplies, specifically the needed automated extractor kits, as the outbreak spreads rapidly in our city and province. We all know that testing is a crucial strategy in the containment of the spread of the coronavirus,” the mayor said.
Leonardia added that Bacolod anticipates even more cases as the city continues to conduct contact tracing and testing.
During their visit, the NTF-IATF team will meet with officials of Bacolod led by Leonardia and provincial officials headed by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, along with representatives from the business and medical sectors.
The visiting team will present the National Action Plan, including the operations protocol and strategy, as well as the good practices in Cebu City and Navotas City.
Also scheduled are a seminar on contact tracing, oath-taking of Barangay Disiplina Brigades, and ceremonial commitment signing.
Before the arrival of the NTF-IATF officials, the team of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, also a member of National IATF, and retired Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, the deputy chief implementer of the Covid-19 IATF-Visayas, have been closely working with the officials of Bacolod and Negros Occidental since the last week of August to strengthen the local Covid-19 response.
With the increasing cases in Bacolod, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the city under modified enhanced community quarantine from September 8 to 30.
Source: Philippines News Agency