Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano on Tuesday said the city has adopted the national government’s strategy in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
“The secret formula is really to be able to practice test, trace and treat,” Cayetano told reporters in a press briefing at the Bonifacio Global City.
Also present during the briefing were officials from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) led by National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Cayetano said the strategy is incorporated in its approach dubbed as the Systematic, Mass Approach Responsible Testing (SMART) program which features hospital testing, house-to-house testing, community-based testing through health centers, and drive-thru testing.
He said they have 128 swabbers and the city government’s testing capacity has increased from just 1,000 to 2,000 per day because of the help from the national government.
The Enderun Mega Swabbing Center (EMSC) is located at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig and has a total of 54 swabbing booths that can accommodate a minimum of 900 persons per day.
“As of July 12, we have conducted a total of 18,503 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, which is 2.31 percent of our local population,” said Cayetano.
Cayetano added that the 12 members of the City Epidemiology Disease Surveillance Unit (CEDSU), 33 Emergency Response for Notifiable and Emerging Diseases (ERNIE) teams (with 166 members), 31 Barangay Health Emergency Response teams (with 155 members), 819 barangay health workers and the citizens are working together to boost tracing efforts.
“We urge the public for their full cooperation. This is so the city government can immediately conduct contact tracing, testing, and if needed, impose a localized quarantine, which may mean imposing a quarantine on a house, a unit, a building or a street,” he said.
Cayetano said COVID-19 infections at a construction site in Barangay Fort Bonifacio have already been contained.
“Ang numero ngayon 327 pero contained. Walang lumalabas, walang pumapasok (We have 327 cases but they are all contained. No one enters and no one leaves). I’ll be happy to invite you in 10 days para matatawag na natin na recovered ‘yung 327 na ‘yan at sisimulan na ulit natin ‘yung trabaho sa construction site na ‘yan (so that we can call all those 327 as recovered and work at the construction site will resume)” he said.
He said most of the infected construction workers are asymptomatic.
For the ‘treat’ strategy, Cayetano announced they have additional quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients and suspected cases that would be established in Bonifacio Global City and in Lakeshore.
“In line with the direction of the national government of aggressively isolating those who are sick, we will have a 100-bed quarantine facility in BGC and 500-bed quarantine facility run by the local government in Lakeshore,” Cayetano said.
He said the two facilities could be created within a month.
At present, Taguig City has four isolation facilities, which includes a 40-bed facility in Lakeshore that offers hygiene kits, towels, kits with masks and thermometers, bedside table, chair, and cabinets for each cubicle.
The city has 1,578 COVID-19 cases, with 610 recoveries and 23 deaths. (PNA)