Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano said Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Dr. Anna Ong-Lim has recommended to the city government various steps to prevent the spread or entry of the dreaded Delta variant of COVID-19.
Rubiano said Lim advised the city government and barangay officials to intensify their prevention, detection, contact tracing, isolation, and recovery of persons suspected to be infected with the virus.
In a town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 20, Lim said it is very important for all the barangay officials to identify persons who are entering their areas of responsibility. They were also advised to require self-imposed quarantine on new residents or visitors.
Rubiano also asked barangays officials to list down the names of those who were infected with the virus and immediately report to the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) for immediate action.
“The Delta variant is real and is a serious threat. Magtulong-tulong po tayo at huwag nating payagan na tumaas ulit ang mga kaso sa ating lungsod katulad ng mga nakaraang buwan(We need to help each other and not allow the virus to spread), Rubiano said.
On March 2, the Department of Health confirmed that the first South African variant patients in the country were Pasay residents and reported 521 active cases in the city at that time.
Rubiano said active cases in the city quickly rose to 1,024 by March 25 prompting her to place two barangays under total lockdown and 136 barangays and areas under granular lockdowns.
She said the city also hired additional contact tracers and tripled its testing capacity from around 6,000 swab tests in February to 17,000 in March and April and intensified its PDITR (prevent-detect-isolate-treat and reintegrate).
Rubiano’s aggressive moves earned praises from Malacanang after she managed to significantly lower the cases in just one month.
Currently, Pasay has one of the lowest active cases in Metro Manila at around 50 and highest efficiency rate in the utilization of vaccines among its residents.
Rubiano conducted a town hall meeting as a preemptive move to stop the possible surge of cases in the city.
The Department of Health (DOH) had asked various hospitals to increase their COVID-19 dedicated beds and oxygen supplies following the detection of local infections of the Delta variant in the country.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire emphasized the need to further improve the country’s healthcare system.
“Kailangan lahat ngayon ay handa na to expand the number of beds in hospitals (Everybody needs to be ready now to expand the number of beds in hospitals),” said Vergeire in a public briefing on Saturday, July 17.