By MAYOR ISKO MORENO
With the entry of Manila into a new chapter under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), relative measures have been, are being, and continue to be undertaken by the city government in readiness for a worst-case scenario and to aid its citizens.
I’m but too glad that as of this writing, the establishment of our very own testing laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital is already underway, for the benefit of Manilans. The hospital houses the Manila Infectious Disease Control Center or MIDCC which, fortunately, we were able to build and open as early as late last year, months before the pandemic hit, globally.
The testing lab is but part of many preparations of the city against the expected rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, but we pray hard that this does not happen, of course.
The city needs to have its own PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine since the PCR is one of the most accurate and effective ways to detect, trace and study the coronavirus and those infected by it. The process is quite costly and Manila has a population that might have breached the two-million mark.
Having our own testing laboratory will also help boost the capacity of the city government in conducting confirmatory tests to conclusively determine if one who had been tested ispositive or negative for the virus, so that appropriate medical attentionmay be given outright.
Still relative to ways aimed at addressing COVID-19, we opened the latest new quarantine facility in Tondo High School that has a 40-bed capacity and is the latest addition existing quarantine facilities like the converted Del Pan Evacuation Center and Araullo High School. Many more are lined up to be opened soon.
We also invite the public to participate and register with ‘manila.staysafe.ph’ which can be downloaded via IOS and Google play. This free cellphone app will serve as a guide to know if there is a COVID-19 positive or PUI (person under investigation) near you.
Also given to the city for free, the said app will strengthen the capacity of the local government in terms of contact tracing, health condition reporting, and social distancing.
There is a need, specifically for Manila residents, to participate and register since this will already be a part of our lives now. It is simple anyway since most of us are frequently on FB or Internet.
After downloading the app on your personal computer, IOS, or android phone, register your number. You will then receive a PIN which you will have to input. Rest assured that this is compliant with Republic Act 10173, the Data Privacy Act.
On a daily basis, by the hour or even by the minute, one can report his health status so that the city government will know how to address the problem and be aware of your condition as well as that of your family.
Since not all elderly citizens have cellphones, the younger ones may report their condition and help will come for them.
If you are logged in and you are reporting for work, there is now a way to know if there is a COVID-19 positive, PUI, or probable in the area where you are.
The app has the capacity to scan your surroundings and provide information or “real-time data” if there is a COVID-19 patient within a 300-meter radius, whether the patient is a “confirmed case,” PUI or suspect, or probable.
The app will guide you so that you may take the necessary precautions. That is how effective the app is and we offer it to all Manilans.
It is important to download the app if you are interested in knowing if there is a possibility that you may be already exposing yourself to an infected person.
Apart from this, you will also be receiving ‘health tips’ on how to boost one’s health and body, with professionals or authorities on the issue giving the information themselves.
The app can also be used to seek help in case you or anyone you know contracts the virus and needs medical attention.
I repeat, this is now going to form part of the new norms and of our daily lives so please, do participate. Please help us help you.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account— ‘IskoMoreno Domagoso.’