NOBODY can tell until when the Coronavirus-19 pandemic will end. For sure the unseen “enemy” will be here for a long time so it’s crucial to learn the “moves” how to “dance” with this deadly virus.
They say the only way to win the war is to know exactly the enemy, thus the Department of Health through Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire and other health stakeholders called on the public to be the solution to the problem as they recalibrated their approach to combat COVID-19 in the next two weeks during the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
Part of the calibrated C.O.D.E. protocol of the Department of Health is to effectively crush and prevent the clustering of infection in barangays and get new Health Care Workers (HCWs) to relieve the pressure off among the other HCWs.
“We call everyone to be the solution. The virus will be here for a long time while organizations are working on a vaccine. In the meantime, each one of us can observe these minimum health requirements as part of our lifestyle,” Vergeire said during the World War C online forum on how to live with the virus while waiting for the vaccine.
She said the government will working with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and barangays to locate the patients and make house-to-house move instead of waiting them to go to the hospitals. She said this approach had been implemented during the “Sabayang patak Kontra-Polio” campaign and was effective in preventing the spread of polio.
“This time the DOH, plus the whole government and the society will be engage so that we can be able to locate the patients, to go to each house, to check for the symptoms, to check if there are people who had been exposed, and to provide the necessary interventions and isolation,” Vergeire added.
After the MECQ, the DOH is expecting all households have undergone symptom check and al with symptoms, with relevant history and exposed to contact were swabbed.
The DOH is eyeing a ratio of 1:37 of contact tracing, meaning, at least 37 contact were identified per confirmed case.
Vergeire added that they will ensure that no suspect, probable and confirmed cases, nor their contacts are on home quarantine. “We need more efficient ways to localize lockdowns to work, actively find the cases and eliminate the clusters of infection. We need to find the patients instead of waiting for them to come to the system. Eliminating clusters means preventing at starting points of local outbreaks to d grow by keeping them isolated from each other.”
It is also expected after MECQ 100 percent of clusters were identified, contained and isolated and that there would be no stigmatization in the community.
She added that they will empower the LGUs as they prime the processes so that the LGUs would be more capable of managing the situation in their own localities.
“If we need to defeat the virus we need to manage the resources,” Vergeire added.
Chief Testing Czar Vince Dizon of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) also agreed with Vergeire that the only way to combat COVID is to work together – prevent, detect, isolate and treat.