By Alexandria San Juan
The Quezon City local government has activated its barangay response teams as part of the city’s intensified effort against the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said officials of the city’s 142 barangays have been tapped to join the fight against the dreaded disease, following the discovery of two positive cases in the country.
According to Belmonte, barangay officers were tasked to help monitor city hall employees who recently traveled to countries with confirmed n-CoV cases if they are undergoing the required 14-day self-quarantine or not.
A list of these employees was already given to the barangays for they strict monitoring, Belmonte said.
“As our eyes and ears in the communities, barangays play a vital role in monitoring and responding to possible n-CoV victims in their respective jurisdictions,” the local chief executive pointed out.
Belmonte said the activation of the task force against n-CoV composed of the QC Health Department, Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Public Affairs and Information Services Department, Barangay and Community Relations Department, and the Solid Waste Management Department, among others.
The heads of the three local hospitals — Quezon City Medical Center, Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital and the Novaliches District Hospital — are also included in the task force.
Amid the apparent ‘panic buying’ of face masks particularly in Metro Manila, Belmonte has activated the QC Price Coordinating Council to monitor the prices of goods in the city, such as face masks and disinfectant, and other vital equipment.
Concerned local government offices and local hospitals also assured that necessary precautionary measures are in place for any eventuality.
“Doctors from the health centers have already received proper training on how to handle patients under investigation and how to isolate possible n-CoV cases,” the City Health Office said.
Belmonte stressed that the local government should prioritize the training of barangay health workers in the city as they are the first responders in the community.
Apart from government hospitals and community health centers, private hospitals in the city have been properly oriented, while those categorized as Level 2 and Level 3 hospitals were advised to admit possible n-CoV patients.
Meanwhile, Belmonte bared that the local government is closely coordinating with Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) hubs to strictly observe the entry of its Chinese employees.
As of now, Belmonte said thag POGO centers in Eastwood already stopped hiring and have installed thermal scanners to monitor their employees.
Belmonte also ordered the massive information dissemination in highly congested communities and schools in the city.