“We are still far from flattening the curve”, Sec. Año said as he commenced the discussion and asked the local government units (LGUs) to prepare for the new normal and to formulate a strategic plan aligned with the national government’s directives emphasizing the spirit of Bayanihan.
He reiterated that Executive Orders (EOs), ordinances and issuances must be synchronized with the NTF-EID guidelines.
He likewise emphasized the importance of the local contact tracing team as the primary weapon in combating the virus. Local government leaders are now allowed to appoint heads from the local members of the PNP, BFP, RHU and Population Commission. “Mas maraming katulong, mas epektibo ang contact tracing”, says Sec. Año highlighting the importance of working hand in hand and acting fast towards tracing the invisible enemy – the virus.
Alongside with the tracing team, the diagnostic and testing team was recognized as the second weapon. “Mass testing is the way to know the real numbers that leads to the identification of positive cases” according to Sec. Año and he elaborated that once identified, patients must be monitored and isolated accordingly. “Their admission depends on the degree of symptoms experienced”, he added.
Moreover, provinces and urban cities were reminded to prepare for a possible surge and to put up an isolation facility with up to 1,000 bed capacity. Reintegration and psychosocial interventions supporting the citizens especially those who face discrimination were also emphasized.
“The lockdown is not a cure, it just helps us to prepare and to increase our country’s health care capacity”, Sec. Año reiterated. By the time the lockdown is lifted, LGUs are tasked to provide extensive social welfare measures and to craft a comprehensive plan for the poor sector.
Additionally, they are mandated to lead the fight from the ground through legislating measures, establishing a localized Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and maintaining the best practices after the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Sec. Año commended the local government officials for their service and encouraged them to continue being great leaders as they are tested during this time of crisis. “Your constituents look up to you, so protect and empower them”, he said.
Looking ahead, LGUs are asked to formulate adaptability and resiliency plans. Everyone is reminded to cooperate and act accordingly – wear mask, practice social distancing, observe proper hygiene, stay home and abide with the protocols.
“Together we will win this fight, let us brace ourselves for what is yet to come and leave a legacy of unity, resiliency and triumph”, Sec. Año concluded.
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