MAY 22, 2020 — Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez on Friday said the country is faring well in curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease after implementing the two-month lockdown.
“Napigilan natin ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 dahil sa pagsagawa ng ECQ ng dalawang buwan kasabay ng contact-tracing at testing,” Galvez said, adding that from double-digit deaths per day, the country now only has single-digit numbers of deaths per day.
“Target natin ma-reduce to zero deaths per day,” Galvez said.
The government is also distributing 8,200 medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) sets and 200 sets of RT-PCR kits that can test 10,000 people.
Galvez said that the increased testing capacity is due to the accreditation of 39 laboratories, 21 of which is in Metro Manila, six in other areas in Luzon, seven in Visayas and five in Mindanao.
“Hindi gaanong tumataas ang kaso kahit tumataas ang ating testing capacity na ngayo’y 11,000 na,” Galvez said.
The country has 13,295 hospital beds, 70% of which are isolation beds while 20% are ward beds for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Less than nine or ten percent of these are ICU beds. Meanwhile, there are only around 1,700 reserved ventilators.
Galvez said they are now considering the implementation of a more localized form of lockdown using the “zoning concept,” where areas will be cordoned off based on two primary zones, namely “affected” and “economic” areas.
“Talagang yung area iko-cordon off or doon na lang natin ilo-lockdown sa mga area or compound na affected. So ‘yung area na ‘to tinatawag nating ‘index area’ or ‘critical area’.”
The surrounding area around the critical zone would be the containment area, Galvez added. Buffer zones would be the area for those who are not affected, but will be contiguous to the affected areas.
Outside the buffer zone is the area where businesses are allowed to open 50% to 100% of economic activity.
The bordering buffer zone would separate the “areas of infection” to the area where economic activity is allowed.
Galvez said the approach aims to further curb the doubling time of the cases.
The government has modified its policies on curbing COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, from implementing the “community quarantine” to elevating it to the “enhanced community quarantine” and introducing “modified” versions of the quarantine, which is effective until May 31. (Audrie Julienne Bernas / JBS)
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