Medical community lists down measures to help govt improve its response against COVID-19

An organization of over 100 medical workers and advocates gave government a list of suggestions on how to improve coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response.


In a statement, the Solidarity of Health Advocates and Personnel for a Unified Plan to Defeat COVID-19 (SHAPE UP: Defeat COVID-19) urged the government to "seriously and immediately take decisive actions to address the dire situation holistically."

"Modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) without the government's comprehensive action plan and recalibration of strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases at the community level as well as failures at so many basic aspects will only prove futile as it did in March," the group said.

The group also lamented the "militarist handling instead of medical approach" to the pandemic: " wreaks fear among the people and proliferate human rights violations -- while doing little to curb the number of cases."

With this, SHAPE UP proposed to allow 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as minimum budget for health and COVID-19 health response and mass hire doctors, nurses, midwives facility staff, and other allied health professions to adequately attend to the influx of patients to address the "exhaustion and demoralization" of the country's health care workers.

The group also suggested to give free mass testing using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) tests targeting vulnerable persons in high risk areas; to provide free face masks and face shields; and sustain social amelioration program for displaced workers and vulnerable populations.

The group also called for the designation of public health experts, social scientists, epidemiologists, virologists, and other specialists to be in charge of the country's pandemic response.

"The pandemic is a public health crisis and must therefore be approached with medical solutions and not punitive military intervention," SHAPE UP stressed.

"Together, let us walk side by side in the spirit of solidarity to urge our government for genuine commitment to raise the bar and standards of our healthcare capacity, workforce, and services which are truly needed for a normal that is new and better than that was neglected," it added.