Caraga readies contingency plan for COVID-19 worst-case scenario
BUTUAN CITY, March 30 (PIA) — With the exponential increase of coronavirus disease or COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, the Department of Health – Center for Health and Development Caraga has intensified its health emergency response action to combat the virus.
A contingency plan was devised and finalized during the 1st Quarter Full Council Meeting of the Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC). This is in preparation for the worst-case scenario especially that COVID-19 has already entered Mindanao.
Part of it is the strengthened vigilance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, consolidation of resources, and plotting of response activities whenever the situation will aggravate.
“We do not know so much about this novel virus so we have to take aggressive steps of preparation. It is better to be ready because we can’t afford to be complacent about safety and security. Simply follow the guidelines imposed by the authorities until we beat this COVID-19,” said DOH-CHD Caraga regional director Jose Llacuna, Jr.
With Europe that has the fastest growing cases of COVID-19, Dr. Llacuna stressed that everyone has a role to play in reducing community spread. He said that based on the World Health Organization (WHO) assessment, the health risk is very high at the regional and global level.
“In Caraga region, we are currently under Code Red Alert (Sublevel 1). Health emergency response is being carried out,” said Llacuna, adding that provision of timely advice on measures to protect people’s health to prevent the spread of this outbreak is also undertaken.
Meanwhile, Office of Civil Defense Caraga regional director Liza Mazo emphasized the importance of cooperation among local DRRMC members and all other stakeholders. “We have to be on top in these uncertain times. We also encourage everyone to strictly follow the directives and protocols and be one with the government in the fight against COVID-19,” she said.
The local government ensures a stricter implementation of the localized community quarantine even with the absence of confirmed cases in the region.
Some barangays have also started the repacking and house-to-house distribution of food packs.
“Our barangay has purchased a sizable number of canned goods, instant noodles, and sacks of rice for distribution to families or beneficiaries that were considered as indigent,” said Wilo Montero, punong barangay of Brgy. Bayanihan, this city.
In Surigao de Norte, the frontliners of the Caraga Regional Hospital have also received health at sanitary supplies such as alcohol, anti-bacterial soap and disinfectant aside from rice and other food items.
Meanwhile, the nurses who are deployed at the barangay health centers seek the assistance of the national government for the provision of additional face masks, gloves and disinfectant.
“We really lack the supply of face masks and gloves and other personal protective equipment. Thus, we appeal for the support from our government and other benevolent stakeholders to look into our needs as we continue to perform our duties in our field of work as frontliners,” said Louise Francia R. Centeno, registered nurse of the DOH-CHD Caraga who served at the Barangay Health Center under the national deployment project.
Caraga remains a COVID-19-free region, with 20 total remaining patients under investigation (PUIs) and more than six thousand nine hundred persons under monitoring (PUMs) wherein 4,300 of them were cleared and done with the isolation period, as of March 21, 2020. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)
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