Solidum: Principles of handling disasters must also be applied in COVID-19 management

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Science Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr. on Friday likened COVID-19 management to handling of disasters.

“I have lots of experiences in handling many disasters but not the pandemic but the same principles can be used,” Solidum said in a webinar Friday.

“We really need to go down at least down to the family level if not the individual level,” he added.

Solidum was appointed as DOST undersecretary in 2017. The DOST then recognized his years of  experience in disaster risk reduction and management, particularly in the field of geological hazards like earthquakes and tsunamis.

During the webinar, Solidum said that while local governments should continue focusing on managing the spread of coronavirus within their jurisdictions and at the barangay level, company organizations also have the responsbility to “ensure that the families of their employees are safe.”

To do that, Solidum urged the company organizations to monitor the health state of their employees to limit COVID-19 infections.

He suggested to utilize contact tracing tool like SafePass, a COVID-19 incident mitigation and management solution, that can be used anywhere with perimeter and by anyone for free.

This contact-tracing tool was also earlier pilot tested by the DOST.

Solidum said that prior to the launch of the second version of SafePass, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, which he heads, has developed a framework for COVID-19 mitigation.

“One very important aspect of it is to really conduct the health check of employees,” he said.

Solidum said they are using Google docs to log the health status of both employees and visitors.

“We do the health check everyday for all employees even at home so that we can monitor anyone who has some symptoms so that they are already notified that they should not go to the office,” the DOST official said.

While manual health check records of visitors and employees are helpful, he said technology can also help them in the future once their office reopens to the public.

SafePass also helps in managing crowds which Solidum said is important feature should a disaster occur and several people flocks their office.

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