AFP sends medical team to Cebu City
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - June 29, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines has sent a medical team to Cebu City to help in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Nine doctors, 10 nurses, and 13 medical aides led by Major Maria Adesitas Sagario arrived in Cebu Sunday on board the Philippine Air Force C130.

The team underwent precautionary swab testing and flu vaccination in Manila prior to their flight to Cebu.

At the Central Command, Department of Health (DOH) - 7 Director Jaime Bernadas briefed the team of the situation in Cebu City. The team members were yet to receive their specific assignments as of yesterday.

In a statement, the Central Command said the AFP is committed to helping improve the health situation in Central Visayas, particularly in Cebu City.

"Being here alone is a hard role to take. But thankfully our selflessness and love for our country comes to picture. The current situation calls us to act as one. This Pandemic is teaching us that no man is an island. We can not fight this battle alone. The work gets easier when we are working hand in hand. Let's take part by following the basic health protocols to keep ourselves safe from the virus. As the saying goes, together we stand against it makes us stronger towards it. But if we are not, divided we could fall. Always remember that our safety is our own responsibility and it should start from ourselves at home," said Lt. General Roberto Ancan.

Angcan tells the medical team:

"Thank you for heeding the call of duty. We need your medical expertise against our fight on COVID-19. Let us help each other against this corona virus. As what I always express, if you want to walk alone, walk fast. But if you want to walk farther, let us walk together. Thank you very much for your support in addressing the medical aspects in Cebu City. Welcome and we still have a lot more to do. In God's perfect time, our country will heal as one."

In an interview with One News, Dr. Ted Herbosa, special adviser to the National Task Force for COVID-19, said there is no denying that “there really is an overflow” in the Cebu City hospitals and doctors are already fatigued and demoralized “because the cases just kept coming.”

Herbosa was with Sec. Roy Cimatu and four other cabinet officials in Cebu City last week to assess the city’s COVID-19 situation.

President Rodrigo Duterte assigned Cimatu, the government’s troubleshooter, to oversee the implementation of quarantine measures in the city.

Around 2,000 uniformed personnel from different provincial police offices are now in Cebu City to help implement ECQ protocols. A team of Special Action Force (SAF) has also been deployed.

In a visit to Cebu City on Saturday, the commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield, Police Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar, said the deployment of additional policemen does not mean militarization.

“Gusto kong liwanagin na ang presence natin dito is police visibility. Hindi ito militarization,” Eleazar said.

Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield is the enforcement arm of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).  JMO (FREEMAN)

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