Brace for COVID-19 surge, LGUs outside Metro Manila told

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — As COVID-19 cases rise in areas outside Metro Manila, the government has urged pandemic task forces in the provinces to prepare their healthcare system.

”Our hospitals need to prepare. We are having this steep rise or increase in the number of cases,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a press briefing at Malacañang yesterday.

She reminded private hospitals to allocate at least 30 percent of their beds for COVID patients and 50 percent in public hospitals.

”We also need to stockpile medicine to manage COVID-19 cases,” Vergeire said.

She likewise urged provincial governments to intensify their PDITR (Prevent, Detect, Isolation, Treat, Reintegration) efforts and ramp up vaccination.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) placed Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province and Northern Samar under the stricter Alert Level 4 starting yesterday until the end of the month.

Vergeire said healthcare utilization in the four provinces exceeded 70 percent.

Acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said the IATF is also monitoring healthcare utilization in Bataan, Western Samar, Biliran and Zamboanga del Sur as well as the cities of Iloilo, Ormoc, Naga, Dagupan and Tacloban.

”We are pushing the Regional IATFs to also help us  in monitoring dedicated beds,” Nograles said.

Given the high vaccination rate in Metro Manila, Interior Undersecretary for barangay affairs Martin Diño said the government is eyeing the deployment of more COVID vaccines in the provinces. He said this is why the government ordered barangay officials in Metro Manila to consolidate the names of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

“Makikita na natin ang tunay na datos at kung sobra pa ang bakuna dito sa Metro Manila, puwede na natin ipalabas at dalhin sa probinsya,” Diño said during the Laging Handa briefing. – Emmanuel Tupas


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