Strict health protocols pushed as Eastern Visayas' COVID cases breach 700-mark

TACLOBAN City - With coronavirus cases in Eastern Visayas breaching the 700-mark, the Department of Health (DOH-8) urged local government units (LGUs) to strictly implement health protocols for the "Hatid Tulong" program of the government.

With more returnees expected to arrive in the coming weeks, DOH-8 Regional Director Minerva Molon warned the LGUs not to be complacent in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Pinaaalalahanan ko po pa rin ang lahat na dapat patuloy parin ang ating pag-iingat. Patuloy rin nating i-practice ang infection prevention and control measures para ma- limitahan ang pagkalat ng virus. Ang pagsunod ng safety prevention protocols ang pinaka- effective pa rin na depensa natin laban sa COVID-19,” Molon said.

She said that part of the preparations being done is the availability of 15,068 beds in Community Isolation Units (CIUs) and Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMFs) in the region.

Molon shared that a total of 52 Level 1 to Level 3 hospitals have already submitted their surge capacity plans.

She said additional training was also conducted to 707 teams of contact tracers in the region.

“With the LGUs “enabled” by the national government to lead the fight against COVID-19 and with the collective efforts of everyone, our region now has a high number of recoveries at 88.83 percent and with 78 active cases," Molon said based on the 725 total COVID cases recorded.

She noted that the immediate isolation of confirmed COVID-19 cases and the intensified contact tracing of people who may have been exposed to the virus are among the effective ways that the government has done to minimize the transmission of the infection.

She said that another best practice is the implementation of COVID-19 scan system or using QR Code for contact tracing in business establishments and borders in Ormoc City, Tacloban City, and Barugo, Leyte.

"This helps not only the government but also the establishments in identifying people who are potentially exposed to COVID-19. It is like a diary of the places we visited and helps in tracking down and alert contacts of people who got infected by the virus," she said.