NTF to send surveillance team to Cebu after spike in COVID-19 cases

Published June 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Martin Sadongdong

A surveillance team will be deployed by the National Task Force (NTF) on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to Cebu City in Central Visayas (Region 7) to closely monitor the sudden increase in the number of confirmed patients in the area.

Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. (NTF on COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN)
Carlito Galvez Jr.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Action Plan (NAP) on COVID-19, said he coordinated with Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III for the deployment of a team of health experts in the capital city of Cebu province. The team will be flown via a C295 military transport plane on Wednesday.

During his visit to Cebu City last week, Galvez said he observed that the city’s severe cases were increasing.

In fact, he said 11 of the 15 areas in the country with high number of cases are located in Cebu City. Among them, he noted, are Barangay Mambaling with 680 cases and Barangay Luz with 216 cases.

Meanwhile, in Talisay City, a component city under the Cebu province, there were 140 active cases, Galvez said.

“‘Yung mga ospital marami pong na-a-admit na na-i-intubate (Many of those who were admitted in hospitals were intubated),” Galvez said during the public address of President Duterte on Monday night.

As of Monday, Galvez said there were eight people waiting for intubation in the emergency rooms (ER) of Cebu City’s hospitals.

“Kaya po nag-usap po kami ni Secretary Duque na magkaroon ng under observ.. close observation po ‘yung Cebu City kasi nagkakaroon po tayo ng tinatawag nating spike (That’s why I talked to Secretary Duque to have a close observation on Cebu City because we are seeing what we call a spike),” he added.

Aside from the monitoring team, around 6,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs) and 20 sets of high-flow nasal cannula, a respiratory support machine, will also be sent to Cebu City to augment their medical supply.

Cebu City is the lone area so far which was escalated back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) while Talisay City was placed under modified ECQ (MECQ) until June 30, 2020.

On the other hand, Metro Manila maintained its status under a general community quarantine (GCQ).

Galvez said Metro Manila’s hospital occupancy, or the rate of hospitals with admitted patients, was relatively good at 30 percent. A total of 13,694 cases were reported in Metro Manila as of Monday.

In Central Luzon (Region 3), Galvez said the situation was improving except in Bulacan province which is seeing an increase in the number of positive cases. There were a total of 735 cases recorded in the region.

In Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Galvez said there were 66 new cases, all of whom are locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who were brought back to their home provinces. There were a total of 191 cases noted in the region.

Galvez said the situation was the same for Lanao provinces in the Bangsamoro Autnomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) which registered 30 new cases, all are LSIs who returned to their home provinces. A total of 34 cases were reported in BARMM.

The said areas were on top of the monitoring list by the task force due to the high number of recorded cases.

The NAP chief implementer will visit Calabarzon (Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon or Region 4A) in the coming days to check on the situation in southern Luzon.