Secretary Galvez impressed by Cebu’s collaborative efforts to combat COVID-19


Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementor, praised the response of local government units and the private sector to the pandemic

“Ako’y natutuwa na napakaganda ng coordination ng LGU. Napakaganda ng coordination ng private sector at saka ang ng leadership katulad ng leadership na ginawa ni (Secretary) Mike Dino na he was able to mobilize the private sector,” Secretary Galvez.

Secretary Galvez, who visited Cebu Saturday along with NTF Covid-19 deputy chief implementor Secretary Vince Dizon, said they were sent by President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bong Go to check on the situation in Cebu since it has higher number of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, Secretary Dizon said they are targeting to increase testing capacity in Cebu to 10,000 tests daily within the next two months.

“The key to really preventing another wave of this virus and also the key to slowly rebuilding the economy is to build up our testing capacity for PCR tests. That is the key,” he pointed out.

According to Dizon, they will be increasing the capacity of Cebu TB Reference Laboratory Molecular Facility for COVID-19 Testing (CTRL-MFCT) at the Department of Health regional office and the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Sub-National Laboratory.

The two laboratories will each get an automated extraction machine that will increase their capacity to 2,000 tests daily, he said.

To further ramp up testing capacity in Cebu, two more molecular laboratories will be set up, Dizon added.

A 2,000-capacity laboratory will be set up at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIAA). Another 2,000-capacity modular laboratory, which is donated by Unilab, will be located at the Cebu Doctors Hospital, he added. The CDH laboratory is expected to be accredited within two to three weeks.

Also, Senator Dick Gordon had promised that the Philippine National Red Cross will be setting up another laboratory with a capacity of 4,000 tests daily, Dizon said.

Secretary Galvez said that a second wave of COVID-19 cases could occur due to complacency, citing what happened in the flu outbreak in the US.

“(The second wave would happen) If we lower our guard; if we upon travel, tourism and we are not prepared for it. We are now preparing the protocol to prevent the occurrence of the second wave,” he said.

These include the setting up of one-stop-shop testing centers at the airports and ports.
On the other hand, Secretary Galvez said the country is winning the fight against COVID-19.

“I believe yes, we are winning the war,” he said. He noted that the number of recoveries has increased while the new cases are on a plateau and the number of deaths now ranges from a low of four to 11 since May 16.

“Out of 13,000 cases, 9,800 are active with most of them 80 percent are asymptomatic; meaning our cases now are getting manageable,” Galvez said./PR