The government continued to work nonstop in stepping up targeted testing as well as vaccination efforts to help curb the rising cases of coronavirus in the country, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Thursday.
As cases of coronavirus continued to increase, Andanar said the government was also building more temporary health facilities to accommodate more patients.
The Palace official came to the defense of the government’s efforts to address the pandemic following a deluge of criticism on the alleged mishandling of pandemic response. The country has reported a spike in coronavirus infections since last month, prompting authorities to put Metro Manila and four nearby provinces under strict lockdown from March 29 to April 11.
“With the continued challenge of the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Duterte administration is ceaseless in intensifying targeted testing and vaccine inoculation, where we are one of the leading countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian) region,” Andanar said in a statement Thursday, April 8.
“Furthermore, It has worked non-stop at increasing our treatment and management facilities, allocating more personal protective equipment for our frontliners, and building and repurposing facilities to accommodate patients, such as the recent opening of the Quezon Institute Off-site Modular Hospital, among others,” he said.
Andanar likewise lauded the sacrifices of frontliners in the battle against the pandemic, adding the government appreciates their hard work.
“We recognize the hard work of our government officials and medical frontliners and ask that they continue their efficient and effective service for our collective recovery,” he said.
Even as the vaccination program continues, Andanar also appealed to the public not to let their guard down. He said health precautions such as mask-wearing and distancing must still be followed to avoid getting sick.
“We remind everyone to continue to observe the minimum health protocols of wearing of face mask and shield, safe physical distancing, and proper hygiene, among others, and ensure that we all do our part in minimizing the surge of the virus,” said Andanar, who recently contracted the coronavirus infection.
As of April 7, the country has recorded 819,164 cases of coronavirus with 14,059 deaths. The latest case spike has been blamed on the emergence of new and more transmissible coronavirus variants.