Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano said the city government is doing everything to prevent the possible entry of the more contagious COVID-19 Delta variant.
In a Zoom interview on July 29, Rubiano said they have been conducting an intensified information, communication and educational campaign about the dangers of the new variant and the steps on how to avoid contracting it.
Rubiano said despite the slight rise in cases, Pasay City still has one of the lowest number of active cases at 80 in Metro Manila, and the city government is working double time to further bring it down as much as possible.
The city government’s current contact tracing ratio is at 1:22, which is well within the recommended 1:15 or more ratio.
“Right now, Pasay City still has zero DELTA variant cases. But even before the declaration of the community transmission of the said variant in the country, we have already met with our barangay officials, COVID team and our health officials to prepare and, if possible, prevent its entry in the city,” Rubiano said.
According to Rubiano, they put more isolation facilities and COVID-19 beds as well as stockpiled oxygen to prepare for a possible surge, and impose stricter border measures in the localities.
The mayor reacted to an earlier Department of Health (DoH) report that said Pasay City showed an increased two-week growth rate of COVID-19 cases, and its average daily attack rate qualifies as high-risk.
Rubiano explained that the increase in the cases came from people who temporarily moved to the city prior to their intended destinations.
“Base po sa mga ulat na natatanggap ng aking tanggapan ay karamihan po sa nagpositibo ay mga dayo sa ating lugar na nagpa-swab test bago tumungo sa kanilang mga lugar, subalit sa kasamaang-palad ay nagpositibo sila,” (Based on the report submitted to my office, most of those who turned positive were not Pasay residents and they were the ones who had their swab test done in the city), Rubiano said.
“If we analyze our growth rate and ADAR using our own data, we can see that currently, we are at medium risk. That’s why we are now implementing stricter measures and tightening our watch in our borders,” Rubiano pointed out.
To prevent the entry of the variant, Rubiano said they are conducting regular consultation meetings with barangay officials regarding border controls and implementation of strict quarantine protocols.
They also conducted a town hall meeting with Dr. Anna Ong Lim, a member of the IATF technical advisory group, and sought her recommendations.
The mayor also instructed the local authorities to intensify their campaign and arrest the minimum health protocol violators.
Rubiano added that they will continue implementing granular lockdowns which were proven effective in containing the cases, and are now being adopted in other cities.