By Jean Fernando
Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez directed the city health office on Sunday (June 14) to triple their actions in conducting extensive mass testing and contact tracing following the surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city over the past two weeks.
Olivarez also ordered city health officer Dr. Olga Virtusio to create a special task force to conduct contact tracing as the city government continued to implement measures against COVID-19 on a long-term basis.
As of Saturday, the city has recorded 827 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 547 recoveries and 50 fatalities. Of the number, 230 or 27.8 percent were active cases.
Barangay San Dionisio still accounts for the most number of coronavirus cases, having a total of 132 confirmed cases, while Baclaran barangay has the second highest number of confirmed cases with 90, and 44 active cases.
The streets in Barangay San Dionisio and Baclaran were recently placed under a three-day calibrated lockdown after the city health office reported that about a hundred individuals in the area have been infected with the coronavirus.
Olivarez encouraged personnel of the city health office and other frontliners to continue the fight against COVID-19.
He added that being the leaders of the community, they are essential in making sure that the constituents are one with the city government in fighting the pandemic.
The mayor added that in order to flatten the curve, the expansion of the capacity of the healthcare system in the city and the increase in testing capacity need to be prioritized.
Olivarez believed that the battle against COVID-19 is expected to be extended indefinitely, maybe one to two years more.
“The primary goal of the COVID-19 response is to reduce the virus-related deaths as well as non-COVID deaths,” he said, adding that the strategy of the city government should be aligned with the national government plan to prevent, detect, isolate, and treat COVID-19.
“Wag tayong magpabaya, matinding kalaban ang COVID virus (We should not relax, the COVID virus is a tough enemy),” Olivarez reminded Virtusio.
He said that contact tracing and surveillance have very important roles in fighting the disease.
Aside from the existing task force, Virtusio form a new group of health personnel that will be solely engaged in widespread testing, contact tracing, and the quarantine of suspect, probable, or confirmed COVID-19 cases, on an individual, neighborhood, and community level.
He expressed his appreciation to the barangay chairmen and councilmen and dedicated frontliners who remain committed to protect their respective areas against COVID-19.
Olivarez also reminded his constituents that under the new normal, everyone is obliged to wear a face mask and practice social distancing and regular disinfection.