Palace satisfied with DOH performance in fighting COVID-19 outbreak

Published April 12, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government is pleased with performance of the Department of Health (DOH) in addressing the coronavirus pandemic given the country’s low infection rate, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

So far we are satisfied with the performance ng Department of Health,” Nograles, spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), said during a virtual press conference Sunday.

Nograles highlighted that the country’s cases of new coronavirus disease are significantly lower compared to the infection rates of developed countries. He said the government is “doing what we can” given its current health resources to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

“To put context, tingnan ninyo po iyong bilang ng ibang bansa sa labas ng Pilipinas, iyong mga mayayaman ng mga bansa. At magugulat kayo sa dami ng COVID-19 na positives nila, sa dami na namamatay, hindi kapani-paniwala pero ganoon po iyon katindi doon sa ibang bansa (To put context, look at te number of cases in other countries, the rich countries. You will be surprised they have many COVID-19 positive cases, fatalities. It’s unbelievable but that’s the heavy impact on other countries),” he said.

“Di hamak na mas mayaman sa atin, sobrang hirap na hirap na po sila. Kaya kahit papaano tayo dito, kung ikumpara doon sa ibang bansa na iyon, ano rin eh…meaning to say, ibang level doon sa iba. So tayo, we’re doing what we can (They are way richer but they are still experiencing a lot of difficulty. Compared to other countries that have a different level, we’re doing what we can),” he added.

As of April 12, the health department has reported 220 more cases of coronavirus that pushed the total to 4,648. The new coronavirus disease has left 297 dead in the country. Around 197 patients, on the other hand, have recovered from the illness.

The government has extended the Luzon-wide lockdown to continue to contain the spread of the coronavirus as well as allow more time to improve the capacity of the country’s health facilities and resources.

Based on the global tracker of Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.7 million people across the world have been infected by the coronavirus while the death toll has reached 108,994 as of April 12. The United States has the highest number of cases at 530,000, followed by Spain, Italy, Germany, and China. The Philippines ranks 34th in the list of countries with infections.

In Southeast, the Philippines ranks second to Malaysia with the most number of coronavirus cases. Malaysia has reported 152 new cases raising the total to 4,683 as of April 12.

Apart from the good work of health authorities, Nograles has lauded law enforcement authorities and local government units for enforcing quarantine regulations. He said authorities have stepped up the campaign against people violating quarantine, those engaged in hoarding and profiteering as well as proliferation of fake news.

“May mga actions naman tayong ginagawa ‘no sa pasaway (There are actions taken against violators) Number of persons arrested in hoarding and profiteering or manipulation of prices: ang total po as of April 9, 506 persons arrested,” he said.

He said the number of public utility vehicles that violated the quarantine have reached 7,708.

“Itong mga curfew at disobedient violators, mayroon din po tayo. Mayroong arrested, may fined, may warned. Libu-libo po iyan, mga arrested, fined and warned na mga pasaway (There are also disobedient violators of the curfew. There are thousands arrested, fined and warned),” he said.

He said authorities have also launched investigation into certain people alleged behind crafting and spreading fake news amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Food and water security

Nograles also announced that the IATF has adopted the recommendations of the National Security Council on food and water security as well as social amelioration program during a meeting last Wednesday.

He said a task group has been activated to ensure food and water security, including shelter and energy, of the people.

The food security subgroup is under the Technical Working Group of Resource and Logistics Management o the National Task Force. The group will be headed by Department of Agriculture Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Budget and Management, as member-agencies. It has been directed to give regular updates on food production and manufacturing.

The IATF has also endorsed the security council’s proposal to develop resiliency among the public, especially of the eighteen million families targeted for social amelioration. The government must ensure the delivery of food and basic services and continuously update the public of such efforts.