The Department of Interior and Local Government mandated barangay officials to activate their village health response team to help monitor residents, particularly those who just came from a trip overseas.
Meanwhile, Secretary Eduardo Año also reminded the Philippine National Police (PNP) that they are included in the task force, which also includes local government units, in the effort to contain the coronavirus. The DILG released a memorandum circular that outlines ways on how to face the Covid-19.
“Then last Feb. 6, we have released the amendment wherein we gave and explained the role of the mayors, governors and barangay captains,” he said.
The governor will lead the effort of the provinces, mayor for the cities and municipalities, and the barangay captains for the communities. The barangay response teams will also be composed of health workers, midwives, and nurses.
“They will be the ones who will screen and implement the 14-day quarantine of travelers from other countries with positive cases,” he said.
The 14-day mandatory quarantine will first be enforced inside their homes. Once the barangay health worker will find symptoms, they will then call the Department of Health so that the patient will be transferred to the hospital.
The police will be called in if there is a need for enforcement when the infected person refuses to go to the hospital. The local government units, meanwhile, will lead the awareness campaign to ensure that the correct information will be delivered to the public.
The Department of Health declared Code Red Level 1 in the country after recording the first-ever local transmission. So far, there are now 33 confirmed cases, mostly in the National Capital Region. It is also the reason why classes are already suspended in Metro Manila to prevent the virus from spreading.
“We are also prohibiting the mass gathering and we are implementing the social distancing,” he said.
They are also encouraging private sectors, especially in the offices, to avoid contact-to-contact engagements.
Meanwhile, Año said that with the suspension of classes, parents should make sure that their children will stay at home and should not go to shopping malls. The DILG also advised the public against panicking.
He reminded people to listen to the news and follow pronouncements and advisories. “The virus can easily be beaten if it will not spread, and we will follow (the advice),” he said.
“We can do this in a few days. We can give the cure to the people who become positive and we need to report those people with severe acute respiratory syndrome. They should be checked immediately by the doctors,” the secretary said.
Meanwhile, during the AFP-PNP press briefing yesterday held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Maj. Eudisan Gultiano, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI, said they are already prepared in case local government units and health officials need additional manpower.
“Our police officers are enough to cover. But of course, we will take guidance from the DOH,” Gultiano said.
Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, said they will give support on quarantine measures, depending on the instructions of the DOH. They are also asked to provide vehicles when necessary.
“We need to coordinate with the Department of Health to come up with a protocol,” he added.