The aggressive interventions carried out by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Visayas’ to adress the COVID-19 situation in this city have resulted in significant gains in the last three weeks.
This was announced by retired MGen. Mel Feliciano in a press conference yesterday
Feliciano, who is assisting Cebu overseer Roy Cimatu, said the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has played a key role in unifying COVID-19 efforts among government agencies and other stakeholders.
“There is now a system that is being followed by the EOC, especially on the referral system at the barangay level. This is very important, to (be able to) give the immediate health care program to probable COVID patients,” Feliciano said.
“The aim is to maximize the utilization of level one facilities, which are the barangay isolation centers. We want them to be fully utilized, which will help decongest hospitals,” he added.
According to Dr. Jaime Bernadas, Regional Director of the Department of Health (DOH) for Central Visayas, Cebu City has also seen an improvement in terms of its critical care utilization rate, or the number of occupied beds and facilities dedicated to patients under critical care.
“We used to be in the 87 to 89 (percent) level, but now we are at 72 percent or lower,” Bernadas said.
Meanwhile, Councilor Joel Garganera, who has been designated as the deputy chief implementer of operations of the IATF EOC-Cebu City, shared ongoing efforts to ensure the integrity of COVID-19 data being processed by the EOC, especially those coming from contact tracing teams.
“We will conduct data verification (and analysis) in order to guide us in transitioning towards our new normal. We have also been receiving support from data analysts in order to improve the integrity and accuracy of our data,” Garganera said.
Also present during the press conference was Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary for Public Safety and Security Alexander Macario, who expressed optimism that the city will soon recover from the pandemic.
“We are confident that we will overcome the obstacles in fighting this pandemic. We hope that Cebu City will rise again to a new normal,” Macario said.
For his part, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella enjoined Cebuanos to do their part in ensuring the health and safety of everyone, as the city awaits the IATF’s recommendation to the President regarding its quarantine status beyond July 15.
“We cannot win this battle alone. This battle can only be won if we act as one, so that we can heal as one,” Labella said. (National Task Force Against Covid19)